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What to Look For When Hiring a Home Inspector

September 3, 2008

The report your inspector provides will be critical to you making a well-informed home-buying decision. So when hiring a home inspector, look for a trusted advisor – not just someone you found in the Yellow pages.

No matter how busy you are, you should attend all inspections of your future home. It is your big chance to get a professional introduction to the circuit breaker panel, air-conditioning system, water heater, and other systems you may soon own.

Additionally, inspectors are not required to move furniture or look under carpets, so it is possible for even good inspectors to miss something. While you probably don’t want to move furniture around to see what the sellers are hiding-imagine the liability if you knocked over the entertainment center in your quest to look behind it – you can certainly flip back the throw rug to see if it’s covering cracked tiles.

In the end, an extra set of eyes can only help.

Never be too busy to read the inspection report. As you read the report, remind yourself that there are no perfect homes (even if it is new). It is almost certain to have some wear and tear. It is the inspector’s role to report everything that is not perfect about the home.

Many agents say they are amazed by the number of home buyers who look at the home inspection as a hurdle to jump over rather than a valuable new source of information about the property they are about to purchase.

Potential buyers should be reasonable about the repairs they ask the seller to make. In my opinion all repairs for health and safety issues are reasonable.

Use the health and safety rule to decide which items on the inspection report is worth asking the seller to repair. If the repair list is long with trivial items the seller is less likely to consider the real important repairs.

Inspections do not include opening walls to see what is going on inside hidden parts of the home; the inspector may suggest based on what can be seen from the outside further investigation. This will cost (typically the buyer) more money but it could be a good investment and provide a good basis for further negotiations.

Remember, the owner and Realtor are required to disclose all information regarding the home; even new items found during the investigations of a potential buyer.

About the Author:
Have questions about buying a home? Find the answers in First Time Home Buyers Tips from Michael Mizuno. Michael is a local resident experienced with the communities in the Greater Sacramento area and a licensed Realtor.

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