home-inspectionIn 2008, the real estate market suffered a crippling blow; one that it soon wouldn’t recover from. Everywhere you looked homes were being confiscated by the bank. And although the market has mostly recovered, buyers remain extremely speculative. Furthermore, in order to decrease foreclosure and default rates, banks have tightened their loan criteria. Coupled with the fact that more and more sellers are selling their home “as is” and the need for quality home inspections, like those provided by A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections, is in greater demand than ever before.

These days, it is almost essential that you work out a contingency strategy with your real estate agent that will allow you to back out of a home purchase if it fails inspection. By inserting a clause that protects you against “money pits”, you’ll gain the confidence you need to carry out the transaction.

Additionally, whereas most banks used to suggest getting a home inspection conducted, many of them now require it. In fact, 95% of banks won’t sign off on a mortgage until a home inspection is performed, further exemplifying its importance. 

Home inspectors are responsible for examining the following aspects of a home: foundations, walls, roofs, insulation, kitchens, bathrooms, ventilation, plumbing and electric systems. If the home possesses any structural, electrical or other found deficiencies, the inspector is required to report them. They are to follow strict guidelines when inspecting a home, and should never rely solely on their own personal assessment.

Other things that a home inspector may look for are termites, wood erosion, rot and radon. If found, buyers should insist that the problem be eradicated before moving forward.

The average home inspection takes about 2-3 hours, depending on the size and age of the home. The home owner or prospective buyer should feel free to accompany inspectors as they do their job.

Unfortunately, finding the right home inspector can be an ordeal. Most home inspectors are not insured – meaning that anything they miss during the inspection process is on you. Additionally, some don’t possess the proper training or credentials to get the job done. Home inspection is a job best left to professionals that belong to a reputable franchise like A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections, and not an independent contractor. If you do decide to go with a third-party, make sure to ask them if they’re a certified home inspector. Certified inspectors are required to complete a designated amount of coursework, pass an exam and maintain at least $150,000 in insurance.

A knowledgeable home inspector, like the ones who work with A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections, will be able to readily deduce the nature and extent of any damage present. He or she will also suggest cost-effective methods for fixing the problem. The buyer can relay this information to the seller, requiring them to resolve the issue before the home is purchased. Quality inspectors will also show you what to look for in the future, so that you can fix any lingering problems before they get out of control.

Even if your bank does not require a home inspection, it’s still a good idea to have one. Remember, the better shape your home is in, the less money you’ll have to spend on repairs, and the higher it’s resale value.

Image credit: Svilen Milev