Professional Home Inspections for Buyers
A professional home inspection will be your best opportunity to receive an educated, objective opinion about a home’s condition. Though a house may look immaculate, its like-new appearance could distract an eager buyer from costly, even dangerous, issues such as a cracked foundation or faulty electrical wiring. Professional home inspectors are trained to spot these conditions, and in many cases can assist you with locating a qualified contractor to accurately gauge the cost of repairs. With this knowledge, you can decide if a home is worth the top dollar you may have offered before you knew you would need to spend additional money for repairs, or if the “bargain” you found really isn’t such a bargain and perhaps it would be best to walk away and find a home that better suits your needs and budget. If you are lucky, the inspection may reveal that you chose a great home that will provide you and your family with many years of comfort.
More people than ever are buying homes to “flip” which means they purchase the home often in a run–down or outdated condition and quickly remodel and update the home for a profitable sale. As the saying goes “time is money” and a home that is advertised as being recently remodeled may be one of these homes. Did the investor possess good construction skills? Did they hire contractors with a solid reputation for quality work? What appears to be new may in reality mask poor workmanship or cheaper, less durable materials. Evaluating a remodeled home is difficult for most prospective buyers and this is the perfect time for a professional home inspector to assist you with your decision.
A home is the place where you dream and build your life. It’s where you spend quality time with family and friends; it may be your retirement nest–egg or your gift to your children. As such, purchasing a home is not only a financial investment but an emotional investment as well. Sometimes buyers looking to save money may have a friend help them evaluate the home, or may pay a general contractor a small amount of money to “look through” the home. In Oregon it is illegal for contractors who are not properly licensed as a professional home inspector to offer home inspection services, and they frequently do not have the experience or knowledge to adequately inspect each system of the home that would otherwise be thoroughly reviewed by a trained professional. The same applies to friends who offer to “help” – unfortunately you may later find out your friend didn’t help as much you had thought when the inevitable failures associated with previously occupied homes occur. You have chosen other real estate professionals to assist you with your purchase and your home inspection deserves that same attention.
When you make a written offer on a home, you should insist that the purchase contract state that the offer is contingent upon an acceptable professional home inspection performed by a qualified, licensed inspector. You can even request the inspector of your choice in your contract. You may negotiate for the seller to pay the fees or you may choose to pay for the inspection yourself, but either way it could keep you from buying a house that will cost you far more in unexpected repairs down the road. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then the other details of the purchase can proceed. If the inspection reveals conditions you are not prepared to accept, a properly worded contract may enable you to terminate the sale without losing your earnest money.
Benefits to Buyers:
- Helps you compare with other homes to determine a realistic value
- Reduces stress by eliminating many of the unknowns
- Can provide peace of mind knowing you have made an educated decision
- Provides the perspective of a trained, unbiased third party
- You will learn about your new home and how to maintain it
- May save you money by making you aware of costly repairs before closing
- Will help you budget for maintenance while you own the home
- Could smooth the process for a faster closing
A professional home inspection by Buckley’s Inspection Services, Inc. can help take the stress out of investing in real estate.