Inspections - Why You Should Have One Done
Most people wouldn't consider purchasing a used car without
having their mechanic give it the once over. Yet, everyday countless homebuyers commit to
purchasing a home with very little knowledge about the property. They just hope for the
best. When you consider that your home purchase will likely be the single largest
expenditure that you will ever incur, it only makes sense to have the home you'd like to
purchase carefully checked out.
Your offer to purchase should contain the following clause. "This offer is subject to
a professional building inspection that is satisfactory to the buyer and paid for by the
buyer". If the home seller balks at your desire to have the home checked out, let
that be a warning flag and walk away from the deal. If the seller has nothing to hide
there really is nothing to fear in having the home inspected.
Once you've gained agreement on this clause begin shopping for a qualified inspector. Take
some care in determining which company will inspect your home. The Home Inspection
industry remains unregulated. Any "handyman" can claim to be a Home Inspector.
We recommend that you hire an inspector that is a member of the American Society of Home
Inspectors (ASHI). These companies conduct their inspections based on the Standards of
Practice set forth by ASHI. They carry errors and omissions insurance to protect them and
you against overlooked problems.
The Home Inspector that you hire will visually examine many items throughout the
home to ensure that you know everything you can about the home before you commit to buying
it. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions during your purchase, and will
provide you with information you need for any maintenance or repairs that your new home
It should be noted that there is no such thing as a perfect home. Home inspections
routinely reveal small maintenance issues that should be resolved once you take ownership.
You should expect to find some of these items in your report as well. The purpose of the
inspection is to protect you against major deficiencies that could be financially
devastating. If the inspection reveals these types of problems, you'll have a way out of
the deal. If you still want to proceed you can reopen negotiations with the home seller.
It's always a good idea to attend the home inspection if possible. Most Inspectors
encourage it and welcome the opportunity to help you get familiar with the home. They'll
take the time to ensure that you are familiar with how things operate.
Some Inspectors will not only provide you with a complete written report regarding the
condition of the property, but will also give you a maintenance manual that will help you
to care for your home in the years ahead.
Resist the temptation to save a few dollars by having Uncle Ernie check the place out for
you. Imagine how you and Ernie might feel if something major was overlooked. Most homes
can be professionally inspected for less than $500.00. Please, this is one investment that
you must make the next time you purchase real estate.