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The importance of a property inspection.

No homeowner wants to be unpleasantly surprised to discover is that their newly-purchased dream home has major problems. An objective property inspection is a “must” in the home buying process. This is especially true when non-owner occupied homes are being considered. In these cases where there has been a foreclosure, potential buyers don’t have the benefit of a seller’s disclosure. Even newly constructed buildings should be inspected to uncover any potential builder oversights.

Home warranties or protection plans are not a substitution for an inspection. Buyers should beware of sellers who try to pass them off as such.

A qualified home inspector will educate the buyer about the condition of the dwelling—whether a single-family home, condo or townhouse. The inspector may expose defects that will allow the potential buyer to make a more informed, and confident, decision.

The money spent on an inspection really pays for peace-of-mind. Buyers who skip the inspection process to save money could later discover that the home needs repairs costing a great deal more than the inspection would have.

The cost of an inspection will vary, depending on the size of the property. It should include the roof; attic and visible insulation; plumbing; electrical; heating and cooling systems; kitchen and bathrooms; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; basement and foundation; and all structural components. If the inspector finds a particular defect, or an infestation, he may suggest a secondary inspection by a specialist.

All buyers who plan to invest in an inspection; and everyone should; need to make their offer contingent on the results of the inspection. A contingency provides an opportunity for price negotiations if defects are discovered.

What you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to your home but with the help of a qualified home inspector, it doesn’t have to. Look into the National Association of Home Inspectors www.nahi.org or the American Society of Home Inspectors www.ashi.org for a professional in your area.

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