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Home Inspections

A home inspection should not be confused with a property valuation. An valuation is an estimate of value that is prepared by a professional valuator. A home inspection is an examination of a property to determine the condition of the structural and mechanical systems. This inspection should be completed by a professional home inspector. !

Although home inspections are optional, it's recommended that you include a home inspection contingency in your Offer to Purchase. By making your offer contingent on an acceptable home inspection, you have the option to withdraw the Offer to Purchase if the inspection reveals major problems that neither you nor the seller is willing to correct.

In fact, you may want to have the inspection completed before you apply for your loan. That way, you will uncover any problems with the home before you spend money or time on securing financing.

Usually, it is your responsibility as the buyer to pay for an independent home inspection. Generally, a professional home inspection only takes two to three hours, and it gives you valuable information on the home's structural condition and mechanical systems.

Finding a qualified home inspector

It's important that your home inspection be done by a qualified professional who has training and experience in a field such as engineering, architecture or construction. To find a qualified home inspector, ask your buyer agent for names of companies that have a good reputation.

As buyer you shall require that inspectors judge the condition of a number of structural and mechanical components of a home and give a written report to the buyer. Examples include:

  • Central heating and air conditioning systems
  • Interior electrical and plumbing systems
  • Interior walls, ceilings, floors and stairs
  • Visible insulation
  • Ventilation systems
  • Foundation, basement, attic and roof
  • Exterior wall coverings, flashing and trim, gutters and downspouts
  • Windows and doors
  • Surface grading and drainage

You should insist that each of these items be covered in a detailed report that you get to keep. It is highly recommended that you go with the home inspector when he or she conducts the inspection. This will give you the chance to ask questions about any of the conditions that may exist in the home and get an estimate of the cost for repairing these items. It will also give you the chance to ask questions about home maintenance.




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