Would you buy a car without taking a test drive? Purchase a new computer without some research? Or buy stock in a company without asking for professional advice? Probably not since these long-term investments are expensive and come with financial risk. And because a house is obviously the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your life, it’s not only recommended but often required you have a home inspection. A home inspector works for the buyer in any real estate transaction, but is actually hired as a non-bias third-party who can accurately examine and predict potential problems with a property. It’s the crucial, last step in purchasing a house since the results of the assessment affect the final sale and price, so it should never be taken lightly.
Home inspectors are like doctors who still make house calls. They give properties a thorough check-up, examine its current condition, and give a final diagnosis of quality. But unlike doctors, these professionals aren’t handymen: they’re not accountable for repairing any problems. Also, it’s important to realize they’re not assessors: they aren’t responsible for determining financial value. These specialists are only employed to discover possible problems. However, they’re professional evaluation is still critical since any faults they find can be used as bargaining chips in the final contract. Once an offer on a house is accepted by the seller, the buyer can still opt out of the deal if the property doesn’t meet certain standards. Or, based on their results, if the detected dilemmas are small in nature, the sale price can then be further negotiated (these supplementary stipulations to a legal contract are often referred to as covenants).
What to Expect from Home Inspections
A typical home inspection costs a few hundred dollars, but by detecting potential problems this upfront expense could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Typically the process takes two or three hours, and though you don’t have to be present it’s always a good idea to tag along during the examination. Even if no major troubles are found, this is a great opportunity for you to get to know your house before moving in. However, for courtesy’s sake, always ask permission to follow your home inspector; if they decline, immediately hire someone else who will oblige. And though they’re only required to diagnose difficulties, many professionals are more than willing to offer home remedies: they can often give advice about quick fixes, ballpark the cost of repairs, and like doctors, refer you to reliable contractors or pre-screening services they’ve come to trust. Afterwards, as evidence, they’ll then give you a full write-up of their recommendations, and some even supplement their findings with photographs.
What do they Inspect?
A better question is what don’t they inspect? In order to identify current inferiorities that may eventually become future crises, home inspection services conduct a careful investigation of every nook and cranny. Some main exterior systems they scrutinize are siding and roofing (including shingles, chimney, and gutters) and the structure itself (such as foundations, walls, and flooring). But a majority of the time is spent inside examining unseen fixtures hidden within the house, thoroughly taking into account all electrical work, insulation, HVAC systems, and plumbing. They also survey surface features, such as carpets, appliances, and windows. It’s a long checklist, so carry a pen as you trail them to jot down notes on all the details, including the size of your furnace filter, the setup of your breaker box, and the location of your plumbing shutoff valve.
Certified Home Inspection Services
Since it’s a significant step in the buying process, (though these pros are also employed by current homeowners who need a quick property assessment, particularly after natural disasters), it’s important to hire the right people. These professionals need to have a complete knowledge in all aspects of homebuilding, so make sure they’re properly certified with a credible organization, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and that they are equipped and trained to detect mold, radon, and asbestos. Also, to ensure competency, make sure they have solid references from previous customers or pre-screening companies, such as ServiceMagic. When it comes to property, your economic security, financial stability, and household safety are always at stake, so you can never be too cautious when it comes to the people working in and around your house.