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What Does A Home Inspector Do, And How Does An Inspection Figure In The Purchase Of A Home?

By on November 11, 2013 in Home Buying Advice, Mortgage Videos

Getting a home inspection done is the last step buyers need to take before they make a written offer on their new home. The inspector checks to make sure the home is safe for the new owners to occupy.

What is the Purpose of a Home Inspection?

Prospective owners should not confuse what an inspector does with an appraisal of the property. An appraisal assesses the current value of a home, regardless of any defects it may have. The home inspection, on the other hand, tells prospective homeowners whether the house is safe. After an initial offer is made on the home, the inspector issues a inspection report detailing the repairs that need to be made to a property before it is up to code and safe for occupancy. If the repairs are extensive, or if there are a number of code violations, prospective homeowners may decide not to proceed to a written contract.

What is Covered in a Home Inspection Report?

Inspectors focus on the structure, construction and mechanical systems of a home. Common items on the inspection report are as follows:

  • electrical systems
  • plumbing
  • foundation
  • windows and doors
  • insulation
  • waste disposal
  • water heater
  • heating and air conditioning systems
  • ventilation
  • water source and quality
  • evidence of pests
  • ceilings, walls and floors
  • roofs

The inspector will let prospective home owners know if repairs are needed in any of these areas and give written estimates of the cost to make these repairs.

What Should One Look for in a Home Inspector?

Individuals should insist on having a qualified and experienced inspector. Each state has different licensing and certification requirements; buyers need to familiarize themselves with the local laws. A real estate agent will be able to assist in the process of finding the right inspector.

It is crucial to have a home inspection performed before submitting an official offer on a home. The price of repairs uncovered in the inspection report can sometimes be negotiated into the sales contract, and sometimes the current owners will make the repairs themselves at the insistence of a prospective buyer. However, if no report is done, the buyer will be stuck with the property “as is.”

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About the Author

About the Author: Jessica Lucas is the managing editor for Mortgage Home Base, a top real estate finance blog dedicated to helping borrowers and home buyers understand the home loan process. Follow Jessica on Google +, and share your comments here. .
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