Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why Building Inspections Before Sale are Important

By Rick Van Newsteed

No one should sign the papers making a home theirs until they make sure they know what they're getting into. That means getting a building inspector to check over the whole house and make sure that there's nothing wrong, either structurally or internally. This means you can't rely on your local government inspector - you need to hire someone who'll do the job thoroughly.

People who just want to make sure the structure of the home is in good shape, who feel like they can manage the rest of the inspection, or would like to gut the house and do a full remodel should choose a structural report from their inspector. This is a building inspection that covers floors, footings and foundations, walls both inside and outside, ceilings and roofs.

If you don't feel like doing the non-structural inspection work yourself, look for a report that will cover the whole building. That gets you an inspection of all the structural elements, as well as power and plumbing, termite inspection, cabinets, windows and doors, drainage and everything that might require major maintenance. That comes out to an almost total audit of your prospective new home, and it lets you know about problems well in advance.

Don't feel like you can skip getting a good quality building inspection performed. It'll cost you a little, but it'll make sure there are no hidden structural defects or areas where the maintenance has been neglected. Nobody likes unpleasant surprises, and there's nothing more unpleasant than discovering a termite infestation or a damaged roof!

If there's damage to your new home that you don't know about, it could cost you a lot of money to repair. When you think about it that way, a report that complies with your local building codes, carried out by a registered builder, isn't really all that costly, and it definitely isn't optional.

You might be surprised by all the problems that turn up in houses that look perfectly sound. From a sagging roof to cracks in the walls and floors, rising damp, leaking plumbing and electrical faults, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a home. A qualified, experienced home inspector who knows what to look for isn't something you can do without.

This is why you should be careful making sure you're working with an inspector who has the experience and reputation to do a good, thorough job and help you find out about your home. This way, you'll be able to know that the home you think you're buying is the home you're really buying.

If you're lucky, the inspector won't find any problems at all, and you'll be able to know that your home is safe, in good shape, and ready to move into. However, in case there is damage, you need your home inspector to find out about it. That way, you won't pay too much for a home with real problems.

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