Every new home owner requires a home inspection. Inspections vary greatly from state to state but there are some general guidelines which will apply to all home inspections. The first thing that you want to do as a soon-to-be homeowner is get someone who is tough and independent to do the inspection for you.
Your real estate agent may have suggested one for you, but its usually advisable not to take their suggestion remember your real estate agent really wants to close the sale of the house, and so the home inspector or home inspection service he will recommend may not be the most thorough. A good place to ask is The American Society of Home Inspectors or ASHI who have a list of certified home inspectors.
You should ask the seller of the house to give you disclosures. These are problems that the seller is aware of and that need to be fixed. They are usually confirmed by the inspector and they can then be fixed. Not all owners will be honest, or they may not know that a problem exists, so once again, the thoroughness of your home inspector is needed.
The home inspector is required to inspect by a certain standard checklist. An ASHI inspector, for example, will check the heating system, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and structural components. If you decide to hire someone who is not ASHI certified to do your home inspection, they should follow this checklist.
Home inspectors are not required to check for pests, So it is a good idea to hire a licensed professional pest inspector who will check for structural damage that may have been caused by pests. Its worthwhile for you to spend the extra money on this person structural damage from pests is very common and it could render your home useless in a very short time
You may also want to arrange a specialized inspection that checks into areas that are not on the ASHI checklist. Mold, asbestos and lead can be a hazard in your home. This specialized inspection can also include checking for hazards against fire, flooding, earthquakes. Some homes are placed in the way of these hazards and as a homeowner, you should know before you make a purchase.
Your inspection is now completed and you ought to get a written report showing the results. Share this report with both your real estate agent and the seller. If the inspection revealed problems, it doesn’t mean that you cannot buy the house. In fact, its a great chance for you to bargain. You can ask the buyer to pay for repairs and replacements or you can have him lower the price if you will do the repairs yourself
As a new home owner, your initial home inspection before purchase is not the only one you will have to undertake. If you want to make sure that you get any damage to your house before its too much, get a home inspection periodically. Whatever problems are revealed in these inspections should be fixed without delay so that you keep the value of your property up.