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Home Inspections:

What do you get? Are they necessary? Why should I pay for a home inspection? Isn't that something the buyer's usually pay for?

Buyer’s often feel a home inspection isn’t necessary especially if they are buying new construction. However, even new construction can have problems that are not readily identifiable. It would be hard for you to know if the furnace leaks carbon monoxide or the chimney is failing. Building contractors make mistakes too, so it is important that each place gets a thorough inspection especially because of the amount of money you are investing to purchase a property. A $400 home inspection will provide great piece of mind when spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home purchase.

Home inspectors can differ dramatically from state to state on how they perform an inspection. Much depends on the home inspector and which association, if any, he belongs too. If would be advisable to ask your real estate agent for the names of a few reputable inspectors in the area to interview. A good inspector may save you thousands of dollars down the line.

Inspections will not report on everything that is in good shape but notes will be made on any defect that needs attention especially when there is moisture or drainage problems, foundation deficiencies, problems with the furnace and air conditioning, roof defects, and any health and safety issues. A general home inspection check list will include structural elements dealing with the construction of walls, floors, ceilings, roof and foundation. It will also include an exterior evaluation of siding, landscaping, grading, drainage, driveways and pathways, windows, electrical lighting, trim, doors, and fences. The roof and attic will also be on the check list. They will look at the flashing, gutters, ventilation, and type of construction. The plumbing will be inspected by looking at the type and condition of pipe materials used. They will check the toilets, showers, sinks, faucets and traps. Systems and components will be on their list. This category will include water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, duct work, and any fireplaces. In ground sprinkler systems may or may not be inspected. The electrical inspection will include the main panel, circuit breakers, grounding, light fixtures, fans, and all outlets to see if they are operating. All appliances will be checked to see if they are operating properly. This includes dishwasher, range, oven, microwave, garbage disposal, and smoke detectors. The garage will also be inspected with the same scrutiny as the house.

Be aware that a home inspection may not identify asbestos, radon, methane, radiation, formaldehyde, mold, mildew, fungi, wood-destroying organisms, rodents, and lead. A specific license to inspect for these elements may be required. When interviewing inspectors be sure to ask what all they will inspect for you so you know what you are paying for. A good inspector will climb up on the roof to evaluate, as well as climb in the attic and under the house. It is well worth the money to find out what you are getting in to. If there are problems you were not aware of when making the offer, it allows you a chance to re-negotiate with the seller on how to solve the problems.

Lastly who usually pays for a home inspection? Well the buyer will pay for their home inspection but many times I will advise my sellers to purchase their own home inspection prior to listing their home. The goal is to nip any problems in the butt early on. This way when it comes to negotiating a deal down the line the buyer will have little negotiating power because you will know exactly what, if anything, is wrong with your home. Also, in many cases the buyer will not end up paying for their own home inspection if you furnish them the one you paid for. This helps with the sale too. Getting inspections before selling a home usually pencils out nicely because it prevents buyers from trying to negotiate further after the home inspection. Also depending on the home problems it will help the real estate agent with pricing.

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