A Worry-Free Home Inspection
There are dozens of individual parts that work together to make up your home. Think of all the individual electrical outlets or plumbing fixtures or HVAC vents in your home. Now add in your appliances, your basement and foundation walls, your roof, and the structural integrity of your home’s framing and joists.
Would you buy a home without knowing the condition of all of these parts? A home inspection is one of the most important steps in buying a home and should always be a condition in any offer to purchase. Read on below for more information about home inspections and choosing a home inspector!
What Does a Home Inspector Do?
A home inspector is a paid professional, often a contractor or an engineer, who checks the safety of a home. Home inspectors search for defects or other problems that could become your worst nightmare later on. They focus particularly on the home’s structure, construction, and mechanical systems.
It is not the inspector’s job to determine whether you are getting good value for your money. He does not establish value, but does provide you with piece of mind by making sure your home is safe and pointing out areas of concern.
Should I Hire a Home Inspector?
A home inspection typically takes place after a purchase contract between the buyer and seller has been signed.
Buying a home without getting expert advice is risky. Once a home inspector uncovers major plumbing and electrical problems, for example, you may decide you do not want to spend several thousand dollars on repairs.
Always include an inspection clause in your written offer. This clause gives you an “out” from buying if serious problems are detected. It also gives you another chance to negotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed. The clause can even specify that the sellers fix any problem that is uncovered before you settle, or close, on the home.
You also may want to consider hiring experts to inspect the home for a number of health-related risks like radon gas, asbestos, or possible problems with the water or waste disposal system.
How do I select a Home Inspector?
Begin by only hiring one who is qualified and experienced, someone who belongs to an industry trade group, such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). This organization has developed formal inspection guidelines and a professional code of ethics for its members. Also, membership in NACHI is not automatic; members must have demonstrated field experience and technical knowledge about structures and their various systems.
Do I Need to Be at the Inspection?
No, but it is a very good idea to be there. Following the check-over, the home inspector can answer your questions and discuss problem areas with you. This is also an opportune time to get an objective opinion about the home from someone who does not have emotional or financial ties to the property.