For your own safety, and to make sure you\’re getting your money\’s worth in the home you choose, using a professional home inspector is highly recommended. A home inspector will check a variety of things such as your home\’s plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, and look for structural problems like a damp or leaky basement, etc.
Usually, you call an inspector immediately after you\’ve made an offer on a home. However, before you sign any written offer, make sure (or have your attorney make sure) that it includes an inspection clause, which says that your purchase obligation is contingent on the findings of a professional home inspector.
Your inspector will not tell you whether he or she thinks the home is worth the money you are offering. Rather, the inspector\’s job is to make you aware of repairs that are recommended or necessary. A seller may be willing to renegotiate a price to accommodate needed repairs, or you may decide that the home will take too much work and money. A professional inspection will help you make an informed decision.
In choosing a home inspector, consider one who has been certified as a qualified and experienced member by a trade association. Your real estate professional can refer you to qualified inspectors in your area.
Should I be present during the inspection?
Yes. It\’s not required, but it is very much to your advantage. You\’ll be able to clearly understand the inspection report and know exactly which areas need attention. Plus, you can get answers to many questions, tips for maintenance, and a lot of general information that will help you when you move into your new home. Most importantly, you\’ll see the home through the eyes of an objective third party.
Are there any other inspections I need to have done?
In addition to the overall inspection, you may wish to have separate tests conducted to check for insects, the presence of radon gas, and the quality of drinking water, to name a few. Talk to your real estate professional for information about these tests and companies in the area that perform them.