The Basics of Home Inspections

If you’re thinking of buying a home this summer, it’s important to protect yourself and your investment with a home inspection. A professional assessment by a reputable home inspector will uncover any problems, and alert you to any necessary repairs and updates.

When writing an offer to purchase, you will want to include a request for inspection. I can change your offer to include that request. Once you go into contract, you will have the opportunity to bring in an inspector of your choosing. But if you don’t have anyone in mind, I can provide you with a list of qualified inspectors.

An inspection will cost you several hundred dollars, so it is important that you are comfortable and confident with your inspector. Choose an inspector who can provide proof of qualifications such as certifications and memberships to home inspection organizations.

When interviewing inspectors, ask questions about him or her and the inspection itself. Examples of good questions include: What does the inspection cover? How much will it cost? Does he or she have references? How long has the inspector been in the business and how many homes has he or she inspected?

Depending on the size of the home, an inspection can last about two to four hours. The inspector should closely evaluate the siding, foundations, exterior brick, insulation, doors and windows, roof, ceilings, walls, moldings, porch, deck, electrical outlets, plumbing, water heater, furnace, air conditioning, garage, basement, septic tanks, driveways and sidewalks. Upon completion, you and I will receive a copy of the review. Remember that it is very normal to have a few small issues that need attention or repair. I can help you decide which, if any, of the repairs to ask the seller to handle or pay for, and which to handle yourself.

A home inspection not only identifies immediate needs, but it can also make you aware of any future maintenance issues. However, even after a home inspection is completed, it is still important to purchase a home warranty.

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