Thursday, October 10, 2013

Buyer beware of home defects

Checking the condition of a property through a home inspection is essential before finalizing purchase. It will tell you if you are getting what you think you are buying. It’s an alignment between expectation and fact, a reality check. 

Aside from getting to know the facts about the property you are about to buy, an inspection will identify physical flaws that may affect the value of your investment and apprise you about the potential problems that may cause great expense in repairs.

Home inspection standards and requirements vary all over the world. In some places, they’re not even required at all. But as buyers, it’s always good practice to know all the relevant facts about what you are purchasing. In the same way you’d bring along a mechanic to look over a used car, you need an expert eye to check on a property. 

What would a home inspector check? Basically an inspector will look at all the systems in place such as electrical, plumbing, and heating or cooling. A check of the condition of the walls, roof, ceiling, floors, windows and doors, basement, and attic will also be done. 

Aside from getting to know the facts about the property you are about to buy, an inspection will identify physical flaws that may affect the value of your investment and apprise you about the potential problems that may cause great expense in repairs. 

Here are some helpful hints to guide you along an inspection: 

  • A good inspector will do a thorough job. If you decide to hire one, find the best you can afford. Get someone with a reputation for doing excellent work. Ask family, friends and colleagues for recommendations.
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  • Prepare for the worst. That’s not to say that you should be a negative Nelly about this process - rather than expect the worst, hope for the best, and decide what the deal breakers are. 
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  • Look for the less obvious. Sometimes, evidence of rot, infestations, and dampness can’t be spotted so easily. If necessary, ask for a special inspection for mold, lead and other hazardous substances.

After the inspection, you can tally up the overall cost of the problems that have been found. Depending on the fixes needed, consult your hardware store clerk or a contractor to get an estimate. From there, you can decide whether taking on the effort and expense of repairs is worth it to you or if you’d rather walk away from the sale.


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