Make sure the sales contract on your new house or condominium includes a home inspection clause before you sign it. The inspection clause should clearly state that your final obligation to buy depends on the outcome of a professional home inspection.
When it comes to the largest single investment you’ll probably ever make, you don’t want any unpleasant surprises. You should know as much as you can about the house before the sale goes through and is finalized. Once you have the inspection results, you’ll have the facts to make your decision with a greater sense of confidence. A home inspection should identify any needed repairs or builder oversights. The inspection can also tell you about required maintenance needed to keep the house in good standing shape.
A professional home inspection is not an appraisal to determine the home’s market value. Nor is it a municipal inspection to confirm compliance with local building codes. A home inspection is simply an examination of the current condition of a house to describe its physical condition and identify any components and systems that may need major repair or flat out replacement.
Hire an experienced and unbiased professional inspector to carefully visually examine the building’s structure and systems. A standard inspection should cover the condition of the home’s roof, attic and visible insulation; along with foundation, basement and structural components, interior plumbing and electrical system; heating system; central air conditioning system; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors.
Finding certain problems doesn’t necessarily mean you should flat out not buy the house. It simply means that you now have the knowledge you need make a final informed decision. You may not want to pay for the repairs or maybe simply unwilling to face the work needed to make those repairs. If major problems are found, a seller may outright agree to either reduce the asking price or make repairs himself.
Even if the house you are buying appears in good condition or you are taking delivery of a newly constructed home from a builder, you should still always get a home inspection. The inspector’s written report will give you the information and confidence you’ll need to make a good buying choice.