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Home Inspection (Property Inspection): What Is It?

Home Inspection (Property Inspection): What Is It?

A home inspection is a non-invasive examination of the condition of your home. Typically, a home inspector who has training and certifications to inspect homes conducts home inspections. A buyer usually contacts a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Be sure to check if there is in inspection clause in the sales contact, causing your sale to be contingent upon the findings of the home inspection.

In many states, home inspectors are required to be licensed. After completing the inspection, the home inspector will give the client a report of his findings in written form. The client is supposed to use that information to make better-informed decisions about their real estate purchase. The report describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection; however, it does not describe future condition, or life expectancy of the property’s components. Although you are not required to be there at the time of your inspection, it is recommended because you can learn from the inspector and ask any questions you might have about maintaining the home.

Inspectors check roofs, basements, heating systems, air-conditioning systems, structure integrity, plumbing, electrical systems, and water heaters. The inspector might also look for bad building practices, items that need repairs, and fire safety. It is logical to assume that a home inspector will not discover every defect in the home, but some companies offer 90-day warranties if there are any unexpected mechanical or structural failures. Other than that, inspectors are not responsible for any future failures.

Many areas of the property are excluded from inspection including, but not limited to property measurements, conditions of title, soil conditions, water quality, wells, buried pipes, cisterns, underground water tanks, and sprinkler systems. You can find a complete list of exclusions on the National Association of Home Inspector’s website (www.nahi.com). Home inspectors are not to be confused with appraisers. An appraiser determines the value of the property; while a home inspector determines the condition it is in.

Home inspections usually vary in cost depending on your location. The fee may also vary depending on the age, size and optional services such as septic or radon testing. Although home inspections are an investment, you should not let that stop you from getting one. The security and knowledge you gain from an inspection is worth the time, effort, and money. Besides, home inspection is not something you can do own your own. An average person does not know enough about home construction, installation, and home safety. It is also hard, as a buyer, to remain objective when judging a home. It is best to higher an objective, third party inspector to do the job.

It is a good idea to get a home inspection. In order to minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, it is smart to learn as much as you can about a property before you buy it. Home inspections can uncover necessary repairs and builder oversights. They can also determine where maintenance is needed to keep the property in good shape. You will know more about the property after the inspection, which will give you confidence in you purchasing decision. No home is perfect and if it turns out that there are problems with the home, it does not mean that you should not buy it. It just means that you know about them in advance and can address them as you see fit.

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