The Basics of Home Inspection

Buying a home is an investment. And just like any expensive thing people buy, they want to make sure that it is free of defects and other problems. This is guaranteed when you're buying something brand new, usually with a warranty period given.

However, things are not as simple when you are buying a house. An unblemished exterior does not tell the whole story. Unless you are an engineer or architect, you won't have the specialized knowledge needed to really determine if a particular property is safe for you and your family to live in. And you need to be certain of this since you don't want to be paying mortgage for the next 30 years over a house whose physical integrity is questionable.

You need a home inspector to do this job for you. Home inspectors are individuals who have undergone training and usually, have received their licenses and certifications to visually inspect homes and buildings from the foundation to its roof.

Home inspectors are trained to spot existing or potential problems about the structure's foundation for possible defects and damage that can compromise the safety of the house. They are also equipped to look at the electrical connections such as grounding, fuses and breakers, just to name a few as well as the plumbing (pipes and fixtures, etc) to see if they are installed according to current codes. Roofing materials, drainage systems and leaks are also thoroughly checked as well as all equipment like stoves and air conditioners that are in the house. They also do a complete inspection on the interior and exterior areas of the house like cabinets, doors and windows as well as patios, decks and driveways.

A home inspection serves as an indispensable guide to determine if you should push through with your purchase or not. Home inspectors will not tell you not to buy the house if they discover major problems with it- that is not part of their job description. They will, however, give you a report detailing their findings so you can make the best decision regarding your purchase. For instance, when the report reveals major repair work that needs to be done, you can use it as a bargaining tool to negotiate for a lower price or look for another property where you won't be bothered with repair work. If the inspection finds that everything is in order with the house then you are rest assured when you buy it that you are getting your money's worth.

While it is not necessary to join the home inspector during the actual inspection, it is highly-recommended that you do so. Not only will you be able to ask the inspector pertinent questions about the property, you will also be able to comprehend the written report better when you attend the actual inspection.

The cost of home inspections will usually depend on the area of the house to be reviewed and what type of inspection needs to be done. Generally, if you ask a home inspection company to do a pre-purchase inspection for you, expect to shell out anywhere from $200 to around $600 depending on the area of the property that needs to be inspected. Inspections of new homes and maintenance inspections are generally much more affordable.

Aside from the general home inspection, you can also ask home inspectors licensed to do so to test the property for lead, radon and molds to ensure that you will be buying a home that's safe for your children to live in.

If you believe that you have what it takes to be a Home Inspector, then the first step is the Home Inspector Exam Study Guide that walks you through the entire Home Inspertor hiring process.

For more information, go to our page for the Home Inspector Exam Study Guide.

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