Tips for Home Buyers

A home inspection safeguards your investment. It prevents you from buying a property that is damaged and/or has structural, termite, mold or plumbing problems. It’s important to have a home inspector come out and take a look at everything, top to bottom, before buying a home.

The professional will alert you to any potential problems that exist with the property. This will give you the opportunity to negotiate with the seller in regards to closing costs.

Time is of the Essence with Home Inspections

If the home needs repair or to be exterminated prior to you moving in, you’ll know in advance. Time is of the essence where home inspection transactions occur. If you wait too long to have everything examined, the window of opportunity will pass and you’ll be stuck footing the bill for repairs, pest control, and new appliances yourself.

The First Time You Have a Home Inspected

The following tips will help you with your home inspection:

  • Ask for a disclosure from the seller. This is not the end all be all, however, because many sellers conveniently leave information off the disclosure. They may not know about the problem or they have completely forgotten about it because they’ve lived in the home for so long.
  • Do an inspection yourself. The best time to do an informal inspection is when you’re planning on putting an offer in on a piece of property. There are some things to look for as you view the home. How are the floors and roof? How old are the appliances? Do the fixtures look old or dangerous? Is there exterior or interior damage? Popular Mechanics recommends wearing a pair of gloves and carrying a flashlight, flathead and Phillips head screwdriver with you so you can thoroughly examine the home.
  • Hire a professional to conduct a formal inspection for you. Have the home inspector take a look at the house from top to bottom. Have them focus on the roof, electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and drainage systems as well as the foundation. The inspection can take hours and can range in cost depending on which company you decide to work with.
  • Get pest control to examine the property. Find a licensed structural pest inspector to check out the property for termites, flying beetles, dry rot, and fungal problems. Make sure that the inspector records the findings in a written report.
  • Have other inspections done depending on your needs. You may want to have the structure examined to see if it’s sound in the event of a disaster like an earthquake, flood or other natural disaster. You may want to have environmental health hazards checked out as well. Mold, asbestos, and lead can pose a threat to home owners.
  • Negotiate. If your contract allows, take the inspector’s findings and negotiate. If things are in disrepair or need a complete overhaul, now is the time to get the seller to pick up the tab to get things back in order or lower the purchase price so you can fix things yourself. If the previous owner of the home doesn’t agree, you can always back out because the house was what you expected it to be.

You have a right to know what to expect in regards to maintenance and repairs when buying a home. Even the newest houses need to be inspected. By keeping an eye out for potential problems and reporting them to the home inspector once they arrive to a location, you learn what it will take to remedy the issues physically and financially. This can help you determine whether a home is worth its asking cost or not.

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