Search for Hidden Problems
Find out everything you can about the true state of the house’s condition before you buy. Now, more than ever, buyer beware. That’s because most sellers aren’t motivated to do expensive repairs in this market. Problems sometimes get painted over or hidden, and it’s up to you to find them.
Work with a Home Inspector
Your best bet is to hire a certified home inspector. If you get a recommendation from your realtor, check references; you want an independent and unbiased opinion.
Your inspector should thoroughly look at the home with you and give you a written assessment of the house’s condition from top to bottom, including windows, doors, trim, siding, roof, and chimneys. The report should include an assessment of the building’s structure and mention any signs of settling or instability. It should cover the sitting of the house on the lot and tell you if there are any drainage issues you should be worried about. It will also give you an idea of the age and safety of all the mechanical systems in the home and whether anything is unsafe or needs to be replaced.
Negotiate with Power
The inspector’s report gives you leverage to negotiate a lower home price, have repairs made before closing, or back out if you don’t want to deal with serious problems.
The Cost of the Inspection
Depending on where you live, whom you hire, and how long the inspection takes, the cost of an inspection will vary based on your home’s size , but it can save you thousands. It’s definitely money well spent.