Buying a home is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make, and you want to ensure you get the best value for your hard-earned dollar. That’s why more and more buyers today are turning to professional Home Inspections.  Prospective home buyers, especially first timers with less experience than a repeat buyer, may not always be able to anticipate potential problems down the line.  Here’s where the Home Inspector can help.

A professional Home Inspector takes a close look beneath what’s on the surface, and then prepares a detailed written report for the prospective buyer on what repair and maintenance work is required now, or is likely to arise in the near future, as well as help you estimate how much this work might cost.  The Inspector should look at such things as the condition of the foundation, electrical service, roof, insulation, and other structural factors. Your real estate professional can help you connect with an experienced Home Inspection service in your community.

Although costs will vary, you can probably expect to spend three to four hundred dollars for an inspection of a single family home.  And who pays for it?  Well, since the benefit of a home inspection is almost entirely that of the buyer, it’s often the buyer who pays the full cost.  However, there is no set rule, and as with most things in real estate, the cost and who pays for it is negotiable.  All things considered, it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind it provides, and the negotiating power it can give you as an informed buyer — especially if the inspection indicates that there are major repairs required.  Under such circumstances, you may still decide to proceed with your offer, but take the cost of the upcoming repairs into consideration when you decide on your offer price.

When it comes to making your offer to purchase, your real estate professional can advise you how to allow for a satisfactory home inspection as a condition of your offer.  Provided you can obtain the homeowner’s permission, a home inspection can be arranged either before your offer is submitted, or after your conditional offer is accepted by the seller.  If the conditional offer is accepted, the property owner is temporarily held from accepting any other offers during a specified time period, so that you can get the inspection done and review the report before you’re locked in.  More importantly, you have a legal escape route if the report turns up some major negative surprises, such as a bad roof or a crumbling foundation.

If you have questions, I would be happy to counsel you further on the best approach to suit your market and your individual situation.