Get a Home Inspection! - It's Well Worth the Money and Effort!
by Dan Wolf
on Monday, May 14th, 2012 at 10:12am.
Buying a property? A home inspection is a worthy investment - even if you are buying "as-is" and either cannot or not planning on asking the seller to make repairs.
Why? You will learn about the property you are buying. This may help you plan and budget for repairs that you might be facing in the future.
A home inspector will look first for code items known as "Life and Safety". These are things the municipality or other governing body dictates need to be done to protect the property inhabitants. When traumatic events happen such as fires, floods and earthquakes, property failures are studied and sometimes codes are adapted hopefully to circumvent tragedies in the properties.
Examples of Life Safety requirements are smoke detectors; carbon monoxide detectors, hand rails, deck rails, window height and size, electrical changes such as ground fault interrupt outlets (GFCI) and restraint straps on hot water heaters. The code says these things cannot be grandfathered. The municipality enforces them when properties transfer.
Other types of repairs might be noted by the inspector as Recommended Repairs and can include a wide group of items such as bracing under decks, grading in the yard or under the house, water leaks, gutters, paint, broken seals on windows or sky-lights, and many other areas the inspector may feel should be addressed for the preservation of the property.
Inspectors often have special tools that can locate potential problems not easily visible to the naked eye such as moisture meters that can sense wet walls behind the tile in the shower or a wet subfloor around a toilet caused by a leaky wax ring.
Many real estate agents as well as their companies feel so strongly that home inspections are important they make you acknowledge that recommendation in writing and make you state it in writing if you wish to waive that inspection. This is because of the number of claims against the agent and company in cases of failures in the property.
The cost of a home inspection typically is between $250 and $400 often dependent on the size and type of the property.
I have a ton of stories I can tell about inspections and property details; long story made short, I highly recommend that buyers spend the money and have one done when they are purchasing a property.