When we are in a store to buy something, we take the time to check the item to see if it’s in good condition. We interrogate the person selling the item, asking questions like what the item is made of, what sorts of problems we will experience with it in the future. If we are this fussy about buying merchandise like gadgets and clothes, what more if we were buying a real estate property?
One of the most significant choices that a person would ever make, and one that requires careful thinking, is purchasing a house. Why, therefore, would you just believe a seller if he claims that his house is in great shape? If you want to find out if the house will cause you any trouble before moving in, a home inspection will tell you what you need to know.
Even if you are a highly meticulous person, you can’t really give your house a good once-over if you are not a home inspector. Tell your real estate agent to recommend a trusted home inspector, ask your friends who they have used before, or find one online. Just make sure that whoever you pick is very well trained, and can prove it with certifications and experience.
An inspector’s job is not to find out the actual value of the home; an appraiser does that. What an inspector does is let you know what problems the house has. He will let you know if a certain damage can be easily fixed or not, or if it’s a small problem or one that can soon get out of hand. His opinion will be valuable because it will help you decide whether or not to go through with buying the property.
On the day of the inspection, you need to be present. You may have hired a top-notch inspector, but it would be better for you to directly hear what he will say about his observations. Here are a number of things he will be checking:
- The property’s groundwork – By checking out the evenness of the floor and the overall construction of the house, the inspector can determine how stable the structure is. Also, they have a close look at the cracks and see whether they are just signs of wear and tear, or they can potentially lead to greater damage.
- Growth of mold – Aside from being toxic, the appearance of mold also signifies a leak. Leaks are just as bad because they are not just annoying, they can also weaken the foundation of the house and can also rack up water bills.
- Pipes – On the subject of water, the inspector will also look at plumbing for leaks, of course, as well as the age of the pipes and if they are due for replacements. They also look at how much water pressure there is, and if there is anything in the system that can lead to clogging.
- Electric power system – To ensure that you will not sustain any electricity-related injuries, like blowing a fuse and electrocution, the inspector will see your electrical wiring has circuit interrupters and has no defective connections, and also if the electrical panel is working correctly and if it is too old.
- Electrical appliances – Some homes can include heaters, air conditioning units, smoke detectors and other appliances when being sold, so the inspector should test these and find out if they still work well, of if they are useless and should be disposed of.
- Infestations – Termites, rats and other types of critters are indeed small, but they attack in groups and they attack violently. Knowing about this ahead of time will give you plenty of time to get rid of them, so that if you are living there, you will no longer have to worry about anything going bump (or chewing) in the night.
When you go to an open house and decide that you like the place, make sure not to decide to buy it immediately. The outer look of the house should not be your only basis for buying it; the house’s inner workings should be seen as an important factor as well. By asking for a home inspection before buying a place, you can spare yourself months or years of trouble.