Hire a Professional
After touring many potential homes and deciding on the one that best suits your needs, initiating a professional house inspection should be the next step before contemplating buying. A professional house inspection can find potential problems that an average homeowner cannot.
The inspector should look at the house’s main operating systems such as electrical, mechanical (heating and cooling), plumbing, roofing and building foundations for any defects or damage. A professional house inspector should be able to tell you how serious any problems are, what repairs need to be done and approximately how much the repairs might cost. Under no circumstances should the house inspector offer to do these repairs.
Participation in the Inspection Is Essential
A professional house inspector will look for many obvious problems such as water leaks, rodent infestations, building code violations and construction defects. Experience will allow the inspector to make assumptions regarding the severity and repairability of any problems found.
You should plan to attend the inspection so you can discuss issues as they are found and ask any questions you may have. Not only will this give you the most information but will put your mind at ease if only minor or no problems are found. Participating in the inspection will educate you as to the specific repairs needed so you will be better able to manage a contractor to do these repairs.
Using the House Inspection Findings
A house inspection can empower you to do a number of things in regards to making an offer on a particular home. If the inspection uncovered a few small items needing repair or no problems at all you can go ahead and make any offer you think will be accepted by the seller. If however, one or more rather expensive repairs are needed you may need to alter your offer accordingly.
You can ask the seller to make the necessary repairs or suitably lower the asking price. You can adjust your offer to reflect the approximate cost of the repairs and make them yourself. Or if the home appraises for more than the asking price you can decide to purchase as is and then do the repairs at your own expense. In any case having a profession house inspection will save you from expensive surprises.