Real Estate Tips: Choosing A Good Home Inspector

Having a home inspection done can give a buyer peace of mind knowing that the house is is buying is structurally, mechanically, and electrically sound.

A home inspector is a certified inspection contractor that examines a house on your behalf for structural, mechanical, and electrical problems before you buy it. These inspections aren't required in all states, but it's a good idea to know what may be wrong with the house that the naked eye just can't see. Having a very meticulous and unbiased home inspector is very important for the buyer, so he or she can get an educated opinion of the general integrity of the structure.

To find a good home inspector you should ask your mortgage broker for some names and numbers of home inspectors their clients have used in the past. If they don't have any ideas, asking your real estate agent is a good idea. Real estate agents usually develop a relationship with home inspectors, which can be beneficial to the homebuyer. If you aren't working with a realtor, home inspectors should be easy enough to find in your local phonebook. It doesn't matter how you find your home inspector--you should check his or her credentials and be sure he is certified by one of the inspection trade organizations such as American Society of Home Inspectors. Inspectors certified by this organization have proven their skills in the various areas of mechanical, structural, and electrical inspections. Also, home inspectors should happily provide references upon request so that you may contact previous customers and inquire about their satisfaction.

When your home inspector comes to the property, it will probably take a couple hours or more, depending on the property size. Everything will be examined: water will be run to check plumbing, the breaker boxes will be checked, heaters and air conditioners will be tested, and the structural integrity of the foundation, supporting walls, and roof will be closely examined. Every aspect of the house will be put under a magnifying glass and any current or potential problems will be recorded. Then, armed with a full inspection report a potential buyer can decide if they are prepared to deal with any problems, or request that the seller make some repairs. Usually, the seller is willing to contribute to any major repairs, but if they aren't, the seller needs to be prepared to either foot the bill or decide not to purchase the house.



A home inspection usually costs from two hundred to five hundred dollars, depending on the square footage of the house. If there are problems that need to be remedied and retested, most inspectors will come out again for just a fraction of the original charge to issue a clear report. The cost may seem a bit steep, but when you consider the money it could cost you in future repairs, it's more than worth the expense.

A home inspector can really give you peace of mind when it comes to buying a new home. Buying a home is the largest debt most people will ever enter into; you want to make sure you are doing it in the most responsible manner. And, knowing what is going on behind the paint, under the foundation, and inside of the walls is responsible. Find a good home inspector, and get an inspection done for your peace of mind.

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