Buying a home can sometimes be a long and tedious process. The first step is to pre-approve a mortgage with a reputable lender and then find a real estate agent that you are comfortable with. The real estate agent you decide to work with should take the time to listen to what your needs and wants are in a home or condo. Often times, people search for a home that meets their needs for six months or more. Once you find the perfect home, it is a good idea to have a written purchase contract that will allow a set amount of time for the home to be inspected. Typically, this will give you seven to ten days to inspect your home for unforeseen problems that could lead to significant expenses down the road. Having the home inspected prior to completing the purchase transaction can save you thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses after closing.
Your real estate agent can recommend a home inspector, but it is in your best interest to contact a minimum of three licensed home inspectors and choose the one that is most comfortable for you. Simply choosing the home inspector sent to you by the real estate agent can be a conflict of interest. Your real estate agent may have a long-term relationship with the home inspector and may have a non-verbal agreement to save as many transactions as possible. A typical home inspection costs between $ 300 and $ 400. This is a worthwhile investment to avoid future unforeseen expenses. The last thing a new home buyer needs is additional expenses right after moving into your new home. If this happens, it can cause serious financial hardship. If the home inspection is poor and the seller is unwilling to fix the problems, walk away and find another home.
General home inspections will reveal defects found in the home, but if something is found that is outside of your area of expertise, you may want to get a more specific inspection before purchasing the property.
Below is a list of other types of home inspections:
• Pest inspection – This type of inspection will inform you not only if wood-destroying insects are found on the property, but also if dry rot is found anywhere in the home.
• Chimney – This type of inspection will ensure that the chimney is working properly and if the lining or brick inside the chimney needs repair.
• Heating and air conditioning – Most heaters need to be cleaned and repaired. If the heater or air conditioner is not working properly, it should be disassembled by a professional to determine the problem and the cost of repair or replacement.
• Lead-based paint: The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978, but homes newer than 1978 may still contain lead-based paint. If the home is found to have lead-based paint, you should hire a certified lead-based paint contractor to properly remove specific areas found in the home.
• Roof – An inspection of the roof will reveal the condition and life expectancy of the roof. Also, ask the roofing inspector to provide you with the estimated cost of roof repair or replacement in writing.
• Well and Septic – If the home you are considering has a well or septic system, your best bet is to inspect them. The house may be located in a municipality that requires this type of inspection.
• Radon – There are many places in the United States that have radon problems. If your home has a high radon level, it could cause serious health problems.
• Mold – If you find mold in your home, you should have it inspected by a licensed mold contractor. Certain types of mold can cause serious health problems.
The previous inspections will allow you to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of the property. If you have any specific concerns about the property before the inspections are completed, it may be more beneficial for you to be present at each of the inspections. Being present at inspections will allow you to raise your concerns with the property directly with licensed contractors. If any problems are found in the house and you still want to buy the property, you will have the problems and deficiencies thoroughly documented by licensed professionals. This will allow you to go back to the seller and request that the repairs be completed, a credit for the repairs at closing, or a reduction in the sale price.