When you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a home, you need to make sure that what you are getting is well worth it.
No home is absolutely perfect. You can always expect to have to spend something on your new home. The average is $6,000 within the first six months, according to industry experts. In a time when you should be looking at paint samples and new furniture, why would you want to spend your time on repairing what you just bought?
A professional home inspection is key to truly understanding the home you are purchasing. You want to turn to a reliable inspector that is a member of an association that establishes strict requirements for membership, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors.
The inspector should provide you with a list of what the inspection will result in. For example, some inspectors will not inspect for termites or termite damage, indoor air quality or the potential of mold to cause illness. The inspector should remind you that the inspection report is not a guarantee. The inspector is not liable for any repairs as a result of his or her performance.
But even though you hire an inspector, you are still responsible for doing a little investigating yourself. For example, even if your lender doesn’t require it, hire a termite inspector. But have the inspector look for all pests. Termites aren’t the only pests that cause damage. So do carpenter bees, rats, squirrels and scorpions.
You may have received a disclosure form with the signed contract for purchase. Many states require that the seller fill out this disclosure. But don’t let yourself rely only on this report. Many issues are forgotten about or not considered major by the owner. Yes, the basement got wet twice in the last ten years, but they could forget about it or not consider it a problem.
Disclosure issues usually arise because buyers expect the disclosure to hold more power than it really does. Make sure that your inspector has a copy of the disclosure and will look at any issues brought up by the seller.
When it comes to buying a home, you need to know everything you can about the home, neighborhood, market conditions and mortgage options. Your knowledge will give you an added negotiating tool when dealing with agents, lenders and sellers. Make sure that you have a full understanding of each step.