Should I Have A Home Inspection Done Before I Buy My New Home?
For your own safety, and to make sure you’re not going to have any surprise repair expenses, using a professional Home Inspector is highly recommended.
A home inspector will check a home’s plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, plus they’ll look for structural problems, check the roof for water leakage and estimated age, and look at the exterior and interior finishes throughout the property.
Usually you call an inspector immediately after your offer on the home has been accepted. Typically you have only 15 days to have the inspection completed, and a response in to the seller if you’re going to ask for any repairs to be made prior to closing.
So before you sign any offer, make sure that it includes an inspection clause or other language that states that your offer is contingent upon having a satisfactory home inspection.
Your home cannot “pass” or “fail” an inspection, and your inspector will not tell you whether he or she thinks the home is worth the money you are offering. The inspector’s job is to make you aware of any repairs that are recommended or necessary, plus any health or safety issues.
A seller may be willing to fix all or some of the problem areas or even renegotiate the price to accommodate needed repairs, or you may even decide that the home will take too much work and money and withdraw your offer. A professional inspector will be able to help you make a clear-headed decision.
How Do I Choose A Qualified Home Inspector?
The key qualifications of a professional home inspector are experience, standards, and ethics.
Here are a few questions to ask:
Are you a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)?
Are you a member of the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)?
How long have you been in business as a Home Inspector?
Does your company do any repairs or improvements or make referrals to those who do? (Such offers/referrals may reflect a conflict of interest)
How long will the inspection take? (Most residential home inspections take no less than 2-3 hours)
What will the inspection cost? (The typical range is $250 - $400, depending on the size of the home and the type of inspections being preformed)
What will the inspection include?
Will I receive a written report of the inspection, and how long will it take to receiving it?
Should I be present during the home inspection?
Absolutely! It's not required, however, it is very much to your advantage. You'll be able to clearly understand the inspection report and know exactly which areas need the most attention. The inspection usually takes about 3 hours. Hint: wear your Saturday work clothes and sturdy comfortable shoes.
Plus, you can get answers to many questions and tips for maintenance and a lot of general information that will help you when you move into your new home. Most important, you’ll see the home through the eyes of an objective third party!