Home Inspections: Why They’re So Important

Why Perform a Home Inspection?

All-Encompassing Examination

A home inspection is an all-encompassing examination of the condition of a home. The home inspection process is often but not always performed at the time of the sale of the home. A home is one of the most important purchases one will ever make and the home inspection is an inexpensive way to discover the universal condition of a home. It is important to conduct a home inspection to avoid a costly mistake by purchasing a property in need of major repairs or system replacements. Even if you think you have found a “dream home,” it is a home inspector’s responsibility to let you know that your “dream home” may not be just right.

Licensed Home Inspector

A licensed home inspector is a professional who will conduct an objective inspection of the condition of the systems and components of a residential building followed up with a written report. A licensed certified AMERICAN SOCIETY of HOME INSPECTORS (ASHI) inspector, also means the inspector has fulfilled additional requirements i.e. training, national testing, the required number of inspections, etc.

Home Inspections Help You Take a Closer Look

A good home inspection will assist a buyer in understanding exactly what they are about to acquire. A home may look move-in ready, but an inspector will cover features of the house such as electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation, as well as structural features of the home and may unveil issues that are not noticeable to the buyer’s eye. As a buyer, you are making a large investment, and it is important to understand exactly what you are purchasing. Having a certified home inspector conduct a thorough inspection of the prospective property could be compared to taking out an insurance policy against all potential operating costs.

Home Inspection Processes

There are many different types of home inspection processes that you may want to conduct before the purchase of a home. First and most importantly, you would need a general or residential inspection performed on the home. The certified home inspector would inspect the exterior, heating system, cooling system, plumbing system, electrical system, structural components, foundation, roof, masonry structure, exterior, and interior components. Once the inspection is completed, the home inspector will provide the buyer with a written report identifying defects and suggesting the need for any improvements or repairs deemed necessary to bring the home up to current standards. Home inspections may often reveal problems with a home that could be pricey to fix. This information could be used as a tool in purchasing negotiations with the seller.

If flaws were found within the home, the buyer now would have a couple more options in negotiations. A buyer could negotiate a credit with the sellers, have the seller pay for repairs before the closing, purchase the home as is, or walk away from the purchase if the issues seem too problematic.

Termite/Wood Destroying Insects & Organisms

Another home inspection process a buyer may want to have before the purchase of a home would be a termite/wood destroying insects/organism inspection. This additional license, which CTR Home Inspector has, would check for signs of structural damage caused by wood boring insects. These insects may also cause problems down the road. A general home inspector may perform this inspection for an additional cost, or recommend a WDO/WDI inspector to the buyer.

Radon Inspection

A radon inspection is also important when purchasing a home. High levels of radon can cause lung cancer which is why the EPA recommends all homes have a test conducted when the transfer of real estate is involved. Radon is a radioactive gaseous element formed by the breakdown of radium, that occurs naturally especially in areas over granite, and is considered hazardous to health. Radon gas from natural sources can accumulate in homes, especially in confined areas such as basements and crawlspaces. If a radon test comes back high, some ways to alleviate the radon could be: installing a mitigation system, sealing concrete slab floors, basement foundations, and water drainage systems. This could be a costly fix, suggesting the importance of radon inspections. Some general home inspectors will also do radon testing at an additional cost. CTR Home Inspections has the credentials to conduct this testing. It is important you ask your inspector if he performs these inspections, or for recommendations.

Well Water, Oil Tank, Septic Tank Testing

Other inspections that you may want before purchasing a home may be well water testing, oil tank testing and septic tank testing. General home inspectors may be qualified to perform some or all of these tests and/or inspections for additional fees. It is important that you ask your potential inspector what his/her qualifications may be. If at all possible, it is recommended to attend your home inspection.

This is a valuable educational opportunity. Never pass up the chance to see your forthcoming home through the eyes of an expert. The cost of a home inspection may vary depending upon the size, region, and age of the house. A home inspection could take anywhere from 2-5 hours, again, depending upon the size and age of the home. It is not an inspector’s responsibility to correct, advise how to correct, or repair any potential issues found in the home. An inspector may recommend repair, or to seek out skilled professionals in each trade for further information.

Peace of Mind

A home inspection will definitely give the buyer peace of mind and put the buyer’s mind at ease that the home has been thoroughly inspected and they are now better prepared to make their buying decision. It can also become a negotiation tool in closing and could inform the buyer of potential future maintenance and upkeep. A seller of a home may also request a home inspection before the home is put on the market. This may assist the seller in setting a price, correct any issues with the home before it is put on the market, or merely having a pre-inspection report available for buyers informing them that the seller has nothing to hide.

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