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Buyer

Top Ten Reasons to Get a Home Inspection

Most Americans would admit that buying a house is one of life’s most stressful experiences. Surprisingly, however, some home buyers skip the professional home inspection and take their chances.

Here are the top 10 reasons to get a home inspection before you sign your name on the dotted line:

  1. Your biggest investment. Americans aren’t big savers. Instead of piggy banks, Americans own homes. If you buy a lemon of a house, you may watch your biggest investment go belly up.
  2. * Radon: Radon is a gas that rises from the ground and sometimes seeps into houses, causing health problems. Home inspectors perform advanced radon testing.
  3. * Mold: Is there a water leak in the basement, bathroom or kitchen? The right combination of moisture, warmth and wood can produce mold in as little as 48 hours. Allergies and respiratory issues may follow.
  4. * Termites: Need we say more?
  5. * Septic System: If you buy a house with a faulty septic system, it can cost upwards of $20,000 to replace. A certified home inspector can identify the tell-tale signs of poor performance.
  6. * Lead paint: Lead paint is found in some homes built before 1978. If the paint job is in good shape—no flaking or peeling—you’re generally in good shape. But if children nibble the paint job or eat paint chips, the health cost could be high. Find out what you’re dealing with.
  7. Fireplaces: A black film called creosote often builds up inside the fireplace after many years. If it’s too thick, then you’ve got a potential fire hazard on your hands.
  8. Roof: Nobody thinks about the roof until it fails. Don’t spend a fortune on a house and then fork over thousands more when you discover the roof is no good.
  9. The objectivity factor: Many home buyers get emotional when looking at a house. Home inspectors, fortunately, aren’t distracted by pretty drapes—they’re looking for problems. Can you do that?
  10. The professional factor: If you’re a legal secretary, for example, you know a home inspector can’t sit down and do your job. It’s the same with certified home inspectors; they receive top notch home inspection training which makes them pros in their field.

* NOT INCLUDED IN STANDARD OR PREMIER HOME INSPECTION – THESE ARE ADDITIONAL SERVICE OPTIONS


3 Deadly mistakes every home buyer should avoid.

Deadly Mistake #1: Thinking you can’t afford it.

Today, buying the home of your dreams is easier than ever before.  Many people who thought that buying the home they wanted was simply out of their reach are now enjoying a new lifestyle in their very own new home.

Buying a home is the smartest financial decision you will ever make.  In fact, most American and Canadian home owners would be financially broke at retirement if it wasn’t for one saving grace – the equity in their home.  Furthermore, mortgage rates are more flexible today than ever and tax allowances favor home ownership.

Real estate values have always risen steadily.  Of course there are peaks and valleys, but the long term the trend is a consistent increase.  This means that every month when you make a mortgage payment the amount that you owe on the home goes down and the value typically increases.  This owe less-worth more situation is called equity build-up and is the reason you can’t afford not to buy.

Even if you have little money for a down payment or credit problems, chances are that you can still buy that new home.  It just comes down to knowing the right strategies, and working with the right people.  See below.

Deadly Mistake #2: Not hiring a buyer’s agent to represent you.

Buying property is a complex and stressful task.  In fact, it is often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime.  At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated.  New technology, laws, procedures and competition from other buyers require buyer agents to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism.  For many home buyers, the process turns into a terrible, stressful ordeal.  In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars.  It does not have to be this way!

Work with a buyer’s agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business and who is on your side.  Buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty to you.  That means they are loyal to only you and are obligated to look out for your best interests.  Buyer’s agents can help you find the best home, the best lender and the best inspector.  Best of all, in most cases, the buyer’s agent is paid out of the seller’s commission, even though he/she works for you.

Trying to buy a home without an agent at all is, well… unthinkable.

Deadly Mistake #3: Getting a cheap inspection.

Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make.  This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection.  The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the home being inspected.  The additional cost of hiring a certified inspector is almost insignificant.  As a home buyer, you have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages and trying to get the best deals.  Do not stop now.  Do not let your real estate agent, a patty-cake inspector or anyone else talk you into skimping here.

InterNACHI front-ends its membership requirements.  InterNACHI turns down more than 1/2 the inspectors who want to join because they can’t fulfill the membership requirements.

InterNACHI certified inspectors perform the best inspections by far.  InterNACHI certified inspectors earn their fees many times over.  They do more, they deserve more, and yes they generally charge a little more.  Do yourself a favor…and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve.


What Really Matters

Buying a home? The process can be stressful.  A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect.  You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time.  This often includes a written report, checklist, photographs, environmental reports and what the inspector himself says during the inspection.  All this combined with the seller’s disclosure and what you notice yourself makes the experience even more overwhelming.  What should you do?

Relax.  Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about.  However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:

  1. Major defects.  An example of this would be a structural failure.
  2. Things that lead to major defects.  A small roof-flashing leak, for example.
  3. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy or insure the home.
  4. Safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel.

Anything in these categories should be addressed.  Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).

Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection.  Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report.  No home is perfect.  Keep things in perspective.  Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter.  It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller’s disclosure or nit-picky items.

The above is an excerpt from Sell Your Home For More by Nick Gromicko.

Copyright (C) 1997 Nick Gromicko


Paying a little extra for an InterNACHI inspector pays off!

Buying a home?  It is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make.  This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection.  The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the home being inspected.  The additional cost of hiring an InterNACHI-certified inspector is almost insignificant, in comparison, but your choice is just as important.

You have recently been crunching the numbers — negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages — and trying to get the best deals.  Don’t stop now.  Do not let your real estate agent, a patty-cakeinspector, or anyone else talk you into skimping on the home inspection.  InterNACHI-certified inspectors perform the best inspections by far.

InterNACHI-certified inspectors earn their fees many times over.  As the most qualified inspectors, they do more, they deserve more, and, yes, they generally charge a little more.  Do yourself a favor…and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve.

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