Let me start off by saying: Yes, I am a home inspector and this article could seem very self-serving. I would answer any criticism to that by explaining why I became a home inspector in the first place. I had been a contractor for about 15 years. In that time I had been in countless houses to repair deficiencies. Finding the cause of the issues being shoddy work done for people who paid good money and now had to pay again to have it made right quickly became a disturbing trend. Often times the faulty work was hidden from the home owner as they didn’t know what to look for to identify it and the “professional” knew how to cover things up to hide it. These items ranged from minor cosmetic issues to major safety hazards that left unattended could cause serious harm or even death. When I would see that a home owner had been cheated it disgusted me but to see issues that could harm them infuriated me seeing that someone would knowingly put others at risk for an extra hundred dollars in their pocket. I decided that with my knowledge and experience I could become a home inspector and weed out these issues for home owners and prospective buyers and be a great help to them while making an honest living. So is this article self serving? Only so much as it is also a service to others.
So think about this, when you buy a car you often get a vehicle history report, you will research its quality and options and you will test drive it. If it is a used car you might even have your mechanic look at it. Why wouldn’t you do the same for an investment that costs 10-20 times more than a car and that you will have for much longer? In my opinion you absolutely should in the form of a home inspection.
A good home inspector knows good construction practices and how to identify issues. It is their business to know what to look for. They know what every crack in a foundation means. They know how to interpret the bundle of wires leading in and out of an electrical panel. They know what to look for when it comes to signs of mold, past water damage, asbestos and the measures that are taken to hide them. They can tell you how long you can expect your HVAC units to be effective and how much life your roof has left. A good home inspector will go over every foot of the house you are buying and give you the needed information about the true condition of the home. This will give you the knowledge that you need to negotiate the best price for a property and in the end know that you are getting what you paid for.
An average home inspection will cost you between 250 and 450 dollars. If the Inspector is really doing his job it will take 2 hours or more to complete the inspectioon itself plus the time to prepare the report. Though that may seem high the payoff is huge when they are able to point out deficiencies that could cost you thousands of dollars and possibly harm you or your family.
So if you are in the market to buy a home do yourself a favor. Once you find that dream home enlist a Home Inspector that is trusted so that you can purchase with confidence and not end up living in a nightmare.