Importance of a Home Inspection
As important as location, location, location is when purchasing real estate there is a lot more to know about the home you are about to purchase. You should have a home inspection of a property you are going to purchase regardless of its age. It’s important to clearly understand what repairs may need to be taken care of prior to purchasing and what you may have to repair in the years ahead. The home inspection can be used as a negotiating tool; the seller may even give an allowance for repairs.
Even in those cases of fixer uppers when you plan to do the repairs yourself, the inspection may discover hidden damages and costs that are more than you want to tackle. This can help you in making your decision if this is really the right property for you. Almost every house will need some repairs but a good home inspection report allows you to choose how much you are willing to spend and how much of your time and work you are willing to commit to.
There are different types of home inspections depending on the type of property you are interested in. According to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors, “the standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and structural components.” Conditions that are concealed or are considered latent defects are not required to be identified in the inspection. For example, snow covering what is later found to be an issue…the inspector is not required to move snow to inspect it nor is the inspector liable if it is missed. Additionally, any system that is not readily accessible negates the requirement to make a determination of that system and they are not required to note the presence of potentially hazard plants, animals, wood destroying insects (WDIs) or mold. However, WDIs & mold may be discovered through additional inspections.
Trust is important. Be sure to retain the services of a home inspection company with top credentials. The ASHI can provide a list of licensed professionals that are trained to objectively communicate with you. ASHI members have demonstrated technical proficiency and report writing skills. Furthermore, they must commit to continuing education in order to achieve and maintain their member status.
Your presence at the home inspection is very beneficial. Follow the inspector as the inspection is conducted and ask questions. Take this opportunity to learn as much as you can about the home.