After you find a home you want to purchase, protect your investment by scheduling a home inspection. If you have a real estate agent, you can ask about a highly recommended home inspector. Make sure you ask for references since not every state regulates or licenses home inspectors. You can also check the American Society for Home Inspectors, which trains inspectors and sets the standard for the industry, to find certified inspectors.
A qualified home inspector will check out the residence’s physical structure and systems, and what the home inspector finds can help you in four key areas.
First, a home inspection can reveal safety issues. Just like any large purchase, you want to make sure that you know what you’re buying. A home inspector can identify safety issues, like the presence of radon and carbon monoxide in the home.
Secondly, a home inspection can reveal illegal additions. Home inspectors can find out if rooms were added without the proper permits or if the previous homeowner didn’t follow code. Illegal additions can affect insurance and taxes, which would be your responsibility to fix or finance.
Third, a home inspector will give you an estimate for future expenses. When looking at your home, inspectors can approximate the cost of installation for certain large appliances, like water heaters and heating and cooling systems. You can use this information to negotiate or purchase home warranties.
Finally, a home inspection provides you with peace of mind. Even if you’re buying a brand-new home, having a home inspection done can give you the confidence to sign on the dotted line. If there are problems, you now know what to expect and you can budget for future repair work if necessary.
Hiring a qualified home inspector can help you navigate the uncertainty of purchasing a home and plan for the future. Make sure you hire one before you sign the closing documents.