How important is a Home Inspection?
The purchase of a house will probably be the largest single
expense of your lifetime, so it is important that you have it
inspected before you close on the property. Some homes were built
over fifty years ago, so in many cases the construction will not be
on par with current standards. There may be issues with the roof or
foundation that you cannot see by simply taking a good look at them.
In larger cities, inspections for new construction are often done by the local municipality before a certificate of occupancy is issued to ensure that standards are met. However in many smaller towns and rural areas, there is simply no inspection department to enforce any building codes. In these areas of the country, you should definitely consider having a home inspection performed, even on new construction. Even if there is a statutory home builder's warranty, it can sometimes require court action and legal fees to have it enforced. It is much better to spend a few hundred dollars for an inspection before closing on the property.
A home inspection can tell the buyer what types of problems they are about to purchase. If there are issues that may cost a ton of money to fix, the buyer should probably not go through with the purchase until these problems have been corrected.
Regardless of what type of home you are going to purchase, having a home inspection performed may save you a lot of money and headaches. If you choose not to, you may be unaware of a major issue with the property. A 20 year old roof can lay perfectly flat and look good from the ground level. To replace the roof on a single family home, will cost thousands of dollars. The same applies to foundation and heating-and-cooling problems. They are not always easy to spot.
Home inspections should be done by professionals who have the appropriate training, experience and licence. There are dozens of things on a standard checklist that the inspector will need to check out. Just because your cousin Johnny knows about building houses, it does not necessarily make him a qualified inspector. Home inspectors will provide you with clear documentation of any problems they discover. This report will also come in handy when you are applying for home insurance.
A home inspection for the average single family home will typically cost a few hundred dollars. If the home is much larger, you will probably pay more for the inspection. Another thing you need to think about is the process of hiring an inspector. Make sure they are properly licensed and insured. Follow through on recommendations and reviews as they are often the most useful tools you could ever find. A really thorough home inspection will take anywhere from two to four hours, or longer.
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