Like anything else in life, what you see when you look at a home is not always what you get. What might look like a charming Colonial on the outside can be riddled with problems on the inside—leaving you, the buyer, with a big mess.
Luckily, there’s something that can prevent this problem from plaguing you long after the “for sale” sign comes down: a home inspection.
Home inspections are a critical piece of the home buying puzzle because not only can they help you uncover potential problems, but can help you address them in a timely and efficient manner so you can get to settling in your dream home.
Above all else, you should have a standard inspection conducted, which checks the overall structure of the home, including the roof, electric, plumbing, and insulation—among other areas. The inspector should be able to detect any necessary repairs you may want to have the seller address before the purchase.
While you should make sure the home is equipped with a radon detector, it’s also a good idea to have an inspector look for any areas of the home that may have increased levels of this colorless and odorless (but harmful) gas.
If the home you’re looking at purchasing has a water or septic tank, have both evaluated. Problems with water or sewage can lead to extremely costly repairs, which can be easily avoided with a simple inspection.
- Try and be present for your home inspection. This can give insight into the process and the opportunity to ask questions on the spot.
- Be prepared for bad news. It’s important to be realistic and understand that problems, big and small, are likely.
- Do ask questions of the inspector, including what repairs he or she recommend before purchase, and what repairs may be able to wait until later.