A: Buying a home is a large purchase and the buyer should perform due diligence when making the investment. Having the home inspected is one of the facets of this process. The inspector gives a non-emotional opinion of the condition of the home. With a good inspection, a buyer can avoid a money pit or be able to budget for immediate or future repairs and maintenance. A home inspection is necessary for both an older home and new construction.
A home inspection can discover issues that could affect the safety, livability and value of a property. You can’t trust that the seller will know all the potential problems and you can’t be certain that they will tell you. In addition, some owners are better at home maintenance than others.
When choosing a home inspector, don’t skimp on costs. However, the most important qualification of an inspector is often experience.
I usually recommend a general mechanical and structural inspection as the first step. Based on those results, additional inspections such as a hydrostatic test may be a good idea. The costs for inspections can add up, but a buyer may end up saving considerable future dollars by spending the money and time up front on inspections. Home inspections may ultimately save you money.
Often issues that come up during the inspection can be used as bargaining tools in price negotiations or can be repaired by the seller prior to closing, saving the buyer future costs and giving a return on the investment for the inspection.
— Philip Alter, Martha Turner Properties, 713-520-1981
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