Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Home Inspections & Warranties

Do I need a home inspection?
Yes. Buying a home "as is" is a risky proposition. Major repairs on homes can amount to thousands of dollars. Plumbing, electrical and roof problems represent significant and complex systems that are expensive to fix.

How do I find a home inspector?
Your realty agent is one source, you should be furnished with several so that you can make the final choice.You can check with internet sites, or the Better Business Bureau. You can ask for referrals from friends. Ask for their credentials, such as contractor's license or engineering certificate. Also, check out their references.

How do I find a home inspector?
In order to find a home inspector, Dian Hymer, author of "Buying and Selling a Home A Complete Guide," Chronicle Books, San Francisco; 1994, advises looking for someone with demonstrable qualifications. "Ideally, the general inspector you select should be either an engineer, an architect, or a contractor. When possible, hire an inspector who belongs to one of the home inspection trade organizations."Experience is always important, you don't want to have someone unqualified to be advising on a major investment.

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has developed formal inspection guidelines and a professional code of ethics for its members. Membership to ASHI is not automatic; proven field experience and technical knowledge of structures and their various systems and appliances are a prerequisite. One can usually find an inspector by looking in the phone book or by inquiring at a real estate office or sometimes at an area Realtor association. Rates for the service vary greatly. Many inspectors charge about $300 to $400 but costs go up with the scope of the inspection.

What's a home inspection?
A home inspection is when a paid professional inspector -- often a contractor or an engineer -- inspects the home, searching for defects or other problems that might plague the owner later on. They usually represent the buyer and or paid by the buyer. The inspection usually takes place after a purchase contract between buyer and seller has been signed.

Within what is usually a 17 day "inspection" period, the buyer has the right to ask the seller to correct any deficiencies that the inspection finds. The seller can agree to do all the items, reject the request, agree to some of them, or negotiate a cash credit in lieu of having the repairs done. It is all  negotiable.

In an "as is" sale, the seller is saying up  front that there will be no repairs done, however he or she still has to disclose any material information that could affect the value and desirability of the property.

David & Melody Creighton
David & Melody Creighton
Realtors