The purchase of a home is one of the biggest investments people will make in their lifetimes. But it is also among the greatest sources of anxiety. A home inspection helps ensure homebuyers of the quality of their investment by making them aware of its condition and alerting them to any concerns. This can serve to relieve stress, increase confidence and even reduce the threat of legal action in the future.
Some of the benefits of a home inspection are:
- Knowledge: Understanding exactly what you're buying - old or new
- Peace of mind: Helps in making a sound buying decision
- Savings: The home inspection reveals the need for repairs or replacements before you buy
- Fewer surprises: The home inspection limits the number of problems you may discover after you move in
- Education: A good home inspection also gives you invaluable details about your new home in addition to information about the condition of the property. You'll learn where the main shutoff valves to the utilities are located, how the house operates and more!
How do I find a good home inspector?
Not all inspection companies are alike, and selecting the wrong company could cost you thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs. Consider the following when shopping for home inspection companies.
- Experience: How much experience do the inspectors have and how long have they have been in the business? The best home inspectors have been in business for years and have seen thousands of homes.
- Home Inspection Training: Have the inspectors gone through any extensive home inspection training? In many states inspectors can simply call themselves home inspectors without any training or licensing.
- Association Membership: Is the inspector a member of a professional home inspection organization? Companies that are affiliated with professional organizations are serious about what they do, and know about all the new developments in their fields. Some well-known trade associations are: American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). Inspectors in your area can be located through these associations.
- Liability Insurance: Does the inspector carry Professional Liability Insurance (Errors and Omissions Insurance)? If you ever need to collect on a legal judgment, an inspector without insurance my not be able to pay your claim.
What if I'm buying a newly constructed home?
An inspection on a new home is important for the buyer to level the playing field. As in any industry there are shortcuts and tricks of the trade in the construction business, and someone who is unfamiliar with them can easily miss them. A home inspector is better able to see nuances that may not be readily visible to an untrained eye. You also need an inspector to offset the builder's or contractor's interest. Much of the information about homes is either taken for granted by people, or remains unfound.
For newly constructed homes, an inspection of the house before the drywall is installed, otherwise known as a "preclosure inspection", provides a level of quality assurance for the buyer that many builders don't usually provide for their contractors. This inspection gives you a better chance of identifying and correcting potential problems when they are much easier and less expensive to fix, before they become physically or financially prohibitive. For example, this inspection may prevent the need for moving a wall so that kitchen cabinets don't protrude into a doorway opening, or moving electrical receptacles so they are placed where you need them
U.S. Inspect, America's leading national home inspection company and part of the Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program, has been in business since 1986 and has over one million inspections of experience-by far the largest number in the industry. Each inspector is put through a rigorous in-field and classroom schedule that can take up to 3 months to complete, including technical, communication, and interpersonal skills. All inspectors are affiliated with ASHI, or an equivalent trade organization and their inspections meet or exceed the standards of practice recommended by those associations. The company carries full E&O coverage.
If you would like more information, or would like to order a home inspection, please call (888) US-INSPECT, or visit their Web site at www.usinspect.com.
*This material is provided by US Inspect; it does not express the views of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation.