- Real Estate
Make The Most Of Your Home Inspection
Protect Your Investment
Purchasing a home is one of the largest investments you will ever make. The fact that a home is new, is no guarantee that it has been properly constructed and is free of defects and problems. The only way to protect your potential investment and ensure that you will not suffer large financial losses in the near future, is to have a home inspection, as a condition of your purchase agreement.
When choosing a company to do your home inspection, it pays to do a bit of research. Look into the history of the company, how long it has been in business and how long it has operated in your particular area. Home inspectors need to have a considerable store of knowledge and should go through a detailed training program before they begin employment. Make sure your inspector has done so. Also check the reputation of the company you choose, to ensure that they have a history of good service and that they guarantee their inspections. Make sure that you understand what a guarantee covers and get it in writing. It may be worth your time to investigate several companies before you make a final choice.
A thorough home inspection must cover all areas of the structure, inside and out, visible and hidden. The inspector will check all the outside areas of the home including the state of materials, workmanship, and the construction and safety of stairs, balconies etc. He will examine the roof, including any chimneys, gutters, and skylights. He will examine all the drainage areas to check for areas that are in need of repair or replacement in the near future. The foundation and supporting structures will be examined similarly, including crawl spaces and basements. Inside the home, the electrical system will be examined as well as the, cooling, and heating systems, and the plumbing. Any built-in appliances will also be examined to make sure they are functioning correctly. Make sure that your inspection also covers water quality, septic systems, and potential rodent or insect infestations.
It is also a good idea to have your own home inspected before you put it up for sale. If any major problems are found, you can either have these rectified yourself, or disclose them to potential buyers, and adjust your asking price accordingly. Inspecting your own home will also let you know what to expect from your potential buyers' inspection, which can mean fewer re-negotiations.
A thorough home inspection takes about three hours and possibly much longer. Although the final inspection report is very detailed, it would be to your advantage to be present during the inspection, if at all possible. If you have any areas of concern, you would have a a chance to ask specific questions, which should be welcomed by a qualified inspector. If you have seen the inspection first hand, you will feel more confident about your final decision.
Having a home inspection before you purchase will help you decide whether to renegotiate your offer or simply walk away.