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Posted 08/11/2016

Home Inspections: A Must For Every Home Buyer

Home inspections for buyers of home

What Is A Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a complete review of a home's structure and systems, including plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and ventilation. Home inspections are typically performed in conjunction with the sale of a home, and are performed by licensed home inspectors.

Don't Buy A Home Without Having A Home Inspection

The home buying process varies by city. Each locale has its own real estate law and customs; and, as a home buyer, you'll follow the steps which are common for your area.

For example, after a home is under contract, you may be asked to provide assurances and disclosures for the seller; to provide earnest money deposits via check or wire; or, to perform any number of tasks to keep the transaction moving forward.

No matter where you live, however, as a home buyer, you'll have the option to inspect your future home for potential faults and defects.

You don't want to skip this step.

Home inspections are an important part of the home buying process. It's what can keep you from purchasing a home with mold problems; or issues with radon, an odorless, poisonous gas.

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The Power Of A Home Inspection

Home inspections are a top-to-bottom review of a home. They're performed by licensed professionals known as home inspectors, and they're an essential part of the home purchase process.

The timing of a home inspection will vary by state but, generally, they're performed after the buyer and seller have reached an agreement on the sale of a home.

Home inspections are different from home appraisals, which are evaluations of a home's value. Appraisals are used as part of the mortgage approval process, and help determine a buyer's loan-to-value.

Inspections, by contract, are evaluations of a home's condition.

Included in the contract is verbiage which gives the home buyer the right to "inspect" the home for damage and defects, and which compels the seller to allow said inspection within some number of days from signing -- usually seven.

This period is known as the "Real Estate Inspection Contingency".

Note, though, that home inspections are subjective and, generally, will only uncover problems that arise from visual cues, such as water marks found on a wall.

A home inspector will review all of the following areas of a home:

  • Exterior
  • Structural
  • Roof/Attic
  • Plumbing
  • Appliances
  • Garage
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Ventilation/Insulation
  • Fireplaces

Home inspectors typically don't check for issues such as termite damage, mold, engineering problems, and other specialized issues.

What If Your Home Inspection Reveals A Defect?

Most home inspections will turn up at least one area of concern -- even new construction. Remember that this is normal, and look for your best way forward.

Thankfully, your sales contract includes language for what to do next.

During the Real Estate Inspection Contingency period, the buyer can submit a written list of defects to be corrected by the home seller prior to closing; or may request an adjustment to the sales price of a home.

The contract also give you the right to cancel the sales agreement, based on the results of a home inspection.

So, if as home inspector finds that a home's ventilation system is faulty, which may lead to mold growth in a bathroom, the home buyer reserves the right to ask the seller to remediate the issue, or to adjust the home's sales price.

If the buyer is unsatisfied with the seller's response to a request during the Real Estate Inspection Contingency, it can "walk away" from the transaction without recourse.

Once the contingency period ends, the buyer loses its right to have the home inspected; and to negotiate over defects found in a home.

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What Are Today's Mortgage Rates?

When you buy a home, commissioning a home inspection is more than just your right as a buyer -- it's a good idea as well. Protect yourself and protect your investment.

Get today's live mortgage rates now. Your social security number is not required to get started, and all quotes come with access to your live mortgage credit scores.

Click to see today's rates (Aug 25th, 2016)

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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