Before making what may be the largest investment of your life, you’ll want to get a home inspection. Home inspectors are trained to examine the physical structures and systems of a house. If you’re going to spend hundreds of thousands of your hard-earned dollars, don’t you want to know exactly what you’re getting? From the roof to the foundation, a home inspector’s report should note the overall condition of the home. It allows buyers to request repairs or negotiate a lower price, and homeowners can use it to make repairs that may make the home easier to sell.
How Do I Get a Home Inspection?
During a typical home sale, the inspection comes after the purchase agreement is signed—but that doesn’t mean the buyer is already locked into paying a certain price. The buyer and seller usually want to make sure they’ve been able to agree on a price before the buyer bothers shelling out the money for an inspection. The national average cost of a home inspection is $326. Your real estate agent or broker may be able to help you find a reputable inspector. You can also use the find a home inspector tool to search for professionals in your area who are members of the American Society of Home Inspectors. Feel free to follow the home inspector as they work. It will give you a good idea of where important switches and systems are in your potential future home. Inspectors won’t generally look at the condition of anything that is not readily accessible, but here is a list of the main things they’ll check:
- They should look for any cracks, dents, or leaks in the foundation, floors, walls, ceilings, siding, windows, doors, and the roof.
- Electrical systems. Inspectors are trained to check the condition of cables, conductors, and panels. They’ll also note the number of installed light fixtures, switches, and outlets.
- Plumbing systems. The inspector should check out all the faucets, drains, and pumps. They’ll document things like poor water pressure and corrosion, as well as the age and condition of the water heater.
- Heating/air conditioning systems. Inspectors will usually note the age and energy rating of furnaces and air conditioners. However, not all inspectors will check solar heating and air conditioning systems. Be sure to ask if the home does have renewable energy technologies.
If you’d like to know the condition of some of those hard-to-reach systems like wells and septic tanks, you can get additional inspections. Many states even require a pest inspection in order to acquire a mortgage loan.
What to Do With the Results
It is highly unlikely that the home inspector’s report will be free and clear of any deficiencies. If the problems are really bad, you can still back out of the purchase altogether. If not, the inspector may provide an estimate of how much it would cost to fix each issue, and it’s up to you to decide how you want to deal with each one. Major problems, such as water damage, may want to be requested that the seller get it fixed before the closing. The smaller, cheaper problems may be used to negotiate a lower purchase price, and you can take care of it yourself after you move in. Either way, a home inspection will give you a better picture of what you’re looking to buy. It’ll help you make a better-informed decision to either move in or get out and continue your search for the perfect house.
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Sources:  www.homeadvisor.com