What Can I Expect from a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?

What Can I Expect from a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?Obtaining a home inspection is an important part of the process of purchasing a house. It arms you with the knowledge you need to determine whether or not you wish to purchase the home. The inspection is performed by professionals appropriately trained and licensed. Your home inspector will give you an expert opinion about the structural integrity as well as the condition of major working systems such as plumbing, heating, and the electrical systems of the house based upon a visual examination. He will inform you about the major defects in the home so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises later on. For instance, if the house needs a lot of repair work done, you will incur high costs after moving in. Being aware of the condition of the home you are considering well in advance will help you make a better buying decision.

Why Would I Need a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?

Purchasing a home is the single largest investment most Americans will make. So they must proceed carefully so that their hard-earned money is spent at the right place. A professional home inspection helps you become an informed buyer capable of making intelligent choices.

What Does a Home Inspector Look For?

“The purpose of a home inspection is to look for material defects of a property—things that are unsafe, not working, or that create a hazard,” according to Kurt Salomon, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors and an inspector based in Salt Lake City. A home inspector gives you the big picture analysis of the house. He mainly points out the major problems in the house associated with structural soundness and crucial systems. As a home buyer, you definitely expect a lot from a home inspector but the reality is that their job is limited and they can’t look into everything and predict future complications.

What You Can’t Expect From a Home Inspector.

The job of a home inspector is primarily to give you the big picture analysis of the house.  His main focus is to detect the issues related with the structure’s integrity and the working of the major systems of the house. Home inspectors don’t do any sort of destructive testing and you can’t expect them to give you the details of every nail, wire and pipe in the house. Their inspections are visual, so if anything is hiding out of site they will not be able to detect it.

The report prepared by them is supposed to be taken as an overall view about the house and shouldn’t be taken as a guarantee that major systems of the house won’t ever need repair. As it is obvious that every house needs regular maintenance to stay in good condition, you must keep in mind that no house is perfect and there might be some issues beyond your home inspector’s report.

What to Consider Before Hiring a Home Inspector?

Though home buyers expect a lot from home inspectors, the fact is that their job is limited. As stated earlier, they can’t furnish you the details of every little thing in the house. So it is recommended that you take care of certain things yourself by being an alert and informed buyer. By doing so you can be more assured of the safety and desired working of the crucial systems of the house. Also, it will save you from incurring heavy costs resulting from unexpected expenditures post-purchase. When you consider hiring a professional home inspector, you are advised to ask him certain questions such as how much experience he has in the field of home inspection, whether he has any expertise in child safety, environmental-friendliness or any other issue relevant to you and your family. For instance, when you are considering a home with a swimming pool, the home inspector should have expertise in pool safety.

Look For the Hazards.

It is recommended to identify common hazards yourself before you move into a house. Check whether the space between railings is narrow or wide enough for babies to crawl and fall through. Also make sure that the gates enclosing the backyard pool are at least six feet tall so that they remain inaccessible to children.  Take care to protect yourself and your family against environmental toxins such as lead paint, asbestos, and radon, which are dangerous for the health of your family and can be costly to remove. If you are alert about such issues, you can ask the seller to pay fully or partially for the abatement or removal of such toxins.  Also check whether the electrical systems of the house are working properly or need any repairs or replacements.  If you find any upgrades are necessary for the same, again ask the seller to get them done or split the costs with you.

Home Inspectors May Customize the Checklist According to the Case.

A home inspector may customize his checklist depending upon the specific needs of a buyer. For example, if a couple with young children is purchasing the house, the home inspector may be more attentive to associated safety issues. On the other hand, in the case of the couple with no children, child safety issues may not be significant and home inspector will likely not bring it to the buyers’ notice. Also, if there is a particular area that you are especially concerned with, like how old the electrical system is, you can ask him to pay special attention to that system. Do bear in mind, however, that the checklist the inspector has developed for pre-purchase home inspections has years of experience and some government oversight behind it.

What Options are there after the Home Inspection?

After the inspection is complete and the report handed over to you, you can assess your options. If you find the report satisfactory, you can go ahead with the purchase. If you find there are certain issues which need to be addressed, you can discuss the same with the seller and resolve them . Perhaps you can get the seller to fix the issues prior to purchase, or negotiate the asking price of the home down to cover the cost.  And at last, if the report is not satisfactory and you feel the deal is not worth your hard-earned money, opt out of it.

Contact South Florida Home Inspection Association to hire a professional home inspector for the inspection of the home you are considering. Get the best inspection done so that your money gets invested at the right place! For more information on what is involved in our pre-purchase home inspections, visit http://www.sfloridahomeinspection.com/services/pre-purchase-inspection/.

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  • S. Florida Home Inspection Assoc.
    P.O. Box 32592, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33420
    Phone: 561-818-5593 Fax: (772) 325-0204 E-mail: sfloridahome@gmail.com