A step that is often neglected by many home buyers is hiring a professional inspector to take a look at the house they are interested in buying. Often people skip this step to save the $200 or $300 fee that an inspector charges, but the reality is that the findings uncovered during the inspection may save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, making the exercise well worth the price of admission.
If you've ever walked through a house pondering a purchase, then you know that instinctively you are checking to ensure that there are no flaws. Even if you have no practical knowledge in the matter, the odds are pretty good that your agent will be able to point out some areas that need to be taken care of before (or right after) the purchase. The state of the roof and the carpets are readily observed, and the age of the furnace and hot water tank are bits of information that are easily collected.
But has the professional home staging consultant disguised some wonky walls with a fresh coat of paint or a clever furniture layout? Is there a leak in the pipes between the upstairs bathroom and a downstairs bedroom that could mean a build up of mold or even rot in the ceiling joints? What kind of insulation was used in the walls of the house, and was it properly sealed in areas where moisture could accrue? If the house was built in London previous to 1978, can you be sure that there is no lead paint present?
All of these questions, which have to do with the hidden workings of the house, can be answered by a home inspector. Part of the job of the inspector is to check any built in appliances and their piping to ensure that they are in good working order and that nothing is leaking. If there is a concern, an inspector can evaluate if any permanent or expensive damage has already been done or if a simple repair will stave off future costs.
What is looked at for a home inspection report?
Home sellers are usually cooperative with the idea of a home inspection; in fact, even if the home is found lacking in a few areas, it may not be reflected at all in the market value of the home. It is between the potential buyer and the seller to determine who will bear the costs of any repairs that need to be done, but it is certainly in the best interest of the buyer to determine the extent of the home's potential issues before tendering an offer. If you need to make an offer first to get the jump on other buyers, make sure it is conditional on a thorough and approved home inspection. A home inspection may save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and at the very least will give you some peace of mind about your investment.