Buying Your Home - Home Inspections & Warranties
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.
Do I need a home inspection?
Yes and No -- Don't you love mixed answers? Your lender will not require a whole house inspection, because they will have the appraiser do a limited inspection. But that's all the appraiser will do, a limited inspection that includes looking into the attic and crawlspace. A whole house inspection includes the inspector going throughout the crawlspace and attic looking for defects, as well as the rest of the home. 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?
I will refer you to a couple of local inspectors that I have had good experience with. Your realty agent is one source. But keeping them independent from the agent may be a good idea. Inspectors are listed in the yellow pages. You can ask for referrals from friends. Ask for their credentials, such as contractor's license or engineering certificate. Also, check out their references.