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What you need to know about Home Inspections

So you’ve fallen in love with a new home and have decided to make an offer. But before you do, speak to your real estate agent about getting a home inspection. Having a professional home inspector go through the property and assess its current condition will give you a better sense of whether you want to firm up your offer, or move on to another showing.

Things home inspectors look for.

When you hire a home inspector, they will assess the property to see if it’s livable and safe for you and your family.1 They will also point out potential problems in the home and identify areas that may need repairs and/or where previous problems may have occurred.

Here are some of the things they look for:2

  • Condition of the roof, chimneys and vents
  • Condition of the foundation and basement
  • Exterior drainage, decks and porches
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Siding, windows and doors
  • Interior plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems
  • Insulation and attic assessment

Things homebuyers should know.

Home inspections aren’t foolproof. There are limitations to what they can assess.3 Despite new technology like thermal imaging cameras, it’s still a visual inspection. Which means, they can’t tell you what else could be lurking behind the walls. But what the report can tell you is your future list of repairs. Knowing this, will give you the chance to negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of repairs. If that falls through, you will have to decide whether or not you have the budget for the fixes.

Potential homebuyers should also be aware that home inspectors are not responsible for the repairs. Depending on the conditions of the offer, either the seller or homebuyer will have to look for their own professional to do the repairs.

Depending on the situation and the condition of the home, don’t forget to think about the Healthy Home considerations. Things like indoor air quality, mold and Radon testing are available from the best inspectors who have trained and certified themselves to provide these services.

Finally, home inspections are optional. In a competitive marketplace, you may choose to omit the home inspection clause in order to make your offer more attractive to the seller. But by doing so, you may run the risk of inheriting some expensive problems down the road.

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John Siarkas

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