Home Inspections Prevent Future Headaches

Let's say that you purchase a house and later discover, to your dismay, that the stucco exterior concealed a nasty case of dry rot.  Or suppose that when you fired up the furnace in the winter, you discovered a cracked heat exchanger leaking gas into your home.  Or maybe, you remodel your kitchen only to find black mold creeping up through the base boards.

Home inspections are a buyer's best friend in avoiding unpleasant surprises after you move in.

Home Inspections Help You Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

What is needed in a home inspection?  A good home inspection is a thorough, visual evaluation of a home.  The physical structure and major systems are examined, as well as the surrounding property.  The standard inspection report includes a review of them home's electrical system, plumbing and wiring, roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation and basement or crawl space.  

Getting a professional inspection is crucial for older homes because age often takes its toll on the roof and other hard-to-reach areas. Problems can also be the result of neglect or hazardous repair work, such as a past owner's failed attempt to install lights and an outlet in a linen closet.


A home inspection is also a wise investment when buying a new home. In fact, new homes frequently have defects, whether caused by an oversight during construction or simply human error.

Why is a Home Inspection Important

A home purchase is one of the largest investments you will ever make. You want to protect your investment by having a professional home inspector examine the property you are interested in buying. Home inspectors have a very thorough inspection system and it is advised that the inspection be done by a professional.  Many mortgage companies will also require an inspection report as a requirement if you are financing the property.  

Getting an Inspector
Real estate agents can usually recommend an experienced home inspector. Make sure to get an unbiased inspector. You can find one through word-of-mouth referrals, or look in the Yellow Pages or online under "Building Inspection" or "Home Inspection."

Home inspections cost about a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of the house and location. Inspection fees tend to be higher in urban areas than in rural areas. You may find the cost of inspection high, but it is money well spent. Think of it as an investment in your investment – your future home.

An Inspection Will Educate You about Your House
Education is another good reason for getting an inspection. Most buyers want to learn as much as they can about their purchase so they can protect their investment. An examination by an impartial home inspector helps in this learning process.  The inspection also provides homeowners with a basic understanding of all system in the home, including electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, etc.

Ask if you can follow the home inspector on his or her rounds. Most inspectors are glad to share their knowledge, and you'll be able to ask plenty of questions.

Inspection Timing and Results
Homebuyers usually arrange for an inspection after signing a contract or purchase agreement with the seller. Generally, it is recommended that the inspection take place up-front in the purchase process, allowing you as the home purchases to get timely feedback on the condition of the home.  A home inspection can alert you to any costly or potentially hazardous conditions. In some cases, you may choose not to proceed with the contract to purchase the home.  In this instance, you'll talk with your realtor about canceling the contract.

Most contracts have a clause allowing for an inspection.  In fact, it is highly recommended that you ensure this clause is in your contract to purchase real estate.  This provides you an opportunity to ensure that the property you are looking to purchase meeting satisfactory inspection results.  If major problems are found, you can back out of the contract. If costly repairs are needed, you may use the inspection as a tool for re-negotiation of the contract, adjusting the terms to allow for stipulations for repair or compensation for work that needs to be done.


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