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Protect Your Investment with a Home Inspection

You finally find a home that’s right for you and have a signed Purchase and Sales agreement, now what?  Hopefully before you signed the contract you made sure to include an inspection clause that makes your transaction contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should include the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

A professional home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. “Professional” refers to a person who holds certain accreditations or is licensed in your state. You don’t want to rely on your father the electrician, your brother the carpenter and your uncle the plumber because even the most experienced tradesman lacks the complete knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector.  An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. They know how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail. Besides that, a professional inspector will remain completely objective and unemotional about the house.

If your lender doesn’t require a home inspection you may be wondering why you’d spend the money to do one, the answer is simple. A home is the largest investment you will likely ever make and you’ll want to minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties. Having a home inspection done and being present during the process, will help you to get to know the home better and ensure you’re making a wise purchase.

Inspection fees vary geographically but also depending on the type of home such as a single family home versus a condo. The size of the property will also calculate into the cost as a larger home requires more of the home inspector’s time. There are some optional services that can be included as well such as septic, well or radon testing.  Don’t let the cost of the inspection deter your decision to having one done or in choosing an inspector, the knowledge and insight you’ll gain is well worth the cost.

A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house and the report will reflect such information, it’s not a pass or fail inspection. The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, and you have an inspection clause in your contract you always have the opportunity to renegotiate with the seller.

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