So you’ve finally found your dream home… now what? It’s time to dig a little deeper into the property’s overall condition. Even if you are convinced this house is “the one,” a home inspection is important to prevent unintentionally purchasing a property in need of major repairs. Some homebuyers neglect this step because they rely on what’s noticeable to their naked eye, but choosing to complete an assessment can help avoid expensive problems down the road. Here’s what you can expect during an inspection.
Asking your Realtor, or friends and relatives who have recently experienced the buying process is a great place to start for a home inspector recommendation. Otherwise, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is a helpful resource for finding an examiner in your area who sets and promotes standards for property inspections.
Once an inspector is hired, the professional will look for defects or malfunctions in the home’s structure, systems, and physical components. Specific parts of the house they will focus on include the roof, plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling systems, floor surfaces and paint, windows and doors, and the overall foundation. The examiner will also inspect the land around the property for issues concerning grading, drainage, retaining walls, and plants affecting the home.
In addition to the general inspector, a potential buyer may consider researching dedicated professionals in areas of pest control, natural disaster hazards, and environmental health dangers such as mold, asbestos, and lead. Hire a specialized examiner if the main assessment reveals problems with the roof, foundation, or other areas that are hard to access or potentially expensive to repair.
Once the examination is complete, the inspector will provide a report suggesting improvements or repairs necessary to bring the property up to current standards. If the assessment indicates that the house is in decent standing, a buyer can proceed with the purchase and feel confident knowing the state of the home. If the inspection brings problems to light, there’s potential to negotiate having the seller pay for necessary repairs or lower the purchase price. A buyer can also choose to back out of the deal completely if the contract allows.
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