I'm a prospective home buyer. Is there a way (like a government
resource) where I can check to see what repairs I might need to do to
a house before I purchase it. For example, has the foundation been
cited as needing repair, the roof, is there a spider infestation, etc.
I forget how you detail the inspection but it can be condition of sale
and in buyer's market, the home seller could pay for it. Some houses
are advertised with an independent home inspector's report included.
Also, depending on local laws, there may be mandatory termite and
radon inspections that the home seller must do.
home inspector can drive down price when they find problems.....
hey this hot water tank has seepage, see the green scum? you will need
a new tank 800 bucks around here.
house price drops with each deficency
On other hand any inspector should be independent and 'at arms length'
to both buyer and seller.
Using someone who is 'in the pocket of' (or elated or employed by)
either party, the situation could get expensive later on if faults ARE
discovered and/or (worse) there is litigation!
Probaly worst is "My cousin, who is an inspector" etc. Or someone who
does much 'other' work for the seller.
0.02 from here!
As others have said, get the home inspected. Another good idea: Bring 2-3
intelligent, observant friends for a couple of walk-throughs. Sometimes they
spot things the inspectors miss, or ask questions you didn't. "How come the
ceiling in this room is textured, but not in other rooms?" Could point to
past water damage. Inspectors don't always notice everything. Mine
completely missed the uninsulated crawl space under part of the kitchen.
No kidding. My impression is that anyone can get a license and call himself
a house inspector.
But think about it, in order to find all the faults, the inspector needs to
know about structural engineering, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, pests,
geology, plants and trees, city and building codes, ... How could one person
be an expert in all these fields?
The suggestions about bringing observant friends is a good one, especially
friends who are DIY type home owners.
Also, call some insurance companies to get insurance quote. If the house has
had mold problems and words get to the insurance companies, some (all?)
insurance company would refuse to insure the house.
Also, the older the house is, the more rigorous you need to inspect it not
just due to deteriorations, but also building code update. If the house
belongs to a home owners association, reading the meeting minutes from the
past may also reveal some problems.
In some states that's absolutely true. In some states you have to be
licensed by the state. http://www.home-inspect.com/legislation.asp
No matter what the requirements are, probably best to go with one
certified by ASHI or NACHI. I know ASHI is a good one.
even brand new homes can have serious deficencies, and with the
housing builing industry so bad, contractors may disown a problem or
may have gone bankrupt.
a new never lived in home is no guarantee of good quality
Where I am, builders pulled fund to gurantee the sturucture of new house
for 5 years. 1st after service is all free. There were instances house
was bought back because of too much troubles.
No wonder I always had my house custom built on my spec.
with the economy so bad builders nationwide going bankrupt.
beware a builder on his way out may have cut corners and once they
file bankruptcy they are off the hook......
get home inspection even on new homes today. all sorts of wierd stuff
turns up, that might be hazard, and you may not find for years.
like reversed hot and neutral on outlets, or open grounds.
outlet still works fine
You should have it inspected all through the building process by a
private inspector. Don't depend on the local "code" inspectors.
They don't find everything, they are too busy, can't possibly know
everything about all 12 or so trades and are not civilly liable.
Besides, they are inspection for "Code" which is MINIMUM STANDARDS.
Is that what you want for your huge investment?
Inspecting at the end is too late to find what may be serious flaws in
the construction. It's all covered up now and too expensive to do
Doing "progress" inspections will cost you money but a whole lot less
than dealing with or tearing out something to fix what should have been
done before it was covered.
Private Property Inspector and retired General Contractor
There is a company called erudite publishing that sells
a step by step do it yourself home inspection. I think
it goes for around $15. sure beats the heck out of
paying $350 each time you like a house.
And anybody that thinks a $15 DIY book beats a $350 inspection by a
professional, gets what they pay for. Plus, when you're a buyer,
having a professional home inspector say there is a problem with
something is going to be a whole lot more likely to result in the
seller offering a discount to cover it as compared to the buyer just
I think that is the key also. Knowing some things to look for while
checking out houses may be worth the price of the book if you don't know
much about home construction and repair. When you do see a house you really
like and are getting ready to put down a deposit is the time to get the $
300 inspector out. I would have hated to pay that price for each house I
looked at before deciding on the final one I bought. I know a bit about
houses and construction, but not enough to "bet the house on".
While my inspector seemed to do a fine job ( I followed him around), I did
not need him to tell me there were 2 burnt out light bulbs or one of the
fausets had a small drip, but did need him to tell me if the foundation was
bad or if there was a well or septic system problem.
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