Secrets Of The Home InspectionOriginally posted at Mlive.com
A vital part of buying a home is the home inspection, which is performed by a home inspector and indicates whether the property is sound before you close on the sale. Depending on the state you reside in, this inspector may have completed training, certification and/or licensing to learn the trade, or he may not be very qualified. Some inspectors are very open about their job and willingly answer any questions you have and some might even pass along trade "secrets."
Home inspectors play an important role in the home buying process, but how do you know if your inspector is qualified to do the job? According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), only some states have any type of laws to regulate home inspectors. In the 29 states with laws, they run the gamut from strict to somewhat liberal. For example, New York is pretty hard core with its requirement of 140 hours of approved training, with 40 hours required in-field, and they must pass the New York State written exam. Alternately, Alaska doesn't require any training course, a person just has to pass the National Home Inspector Examination. Currently, Michigan is one of 21 states that doesn't require any type of training or licensing for home inspectors. In states without regulations, hire inspectors who've completed a qualification certification program or you may be buying a home without a proper inspection.
Inspectors Do What?
Although you probably have a general idea of what home inspectors do, you might not fully understand what all their job entails. A home inspector thoroughly examines the interior and exterior of the home. This should include the home's overall structure like the framing and foundation, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, ventilation, insulation and fireplaces (if applicable). A methodical inspector examines it from the roof to the foundation on the outside, then moves indoors where he starts at the top (attic) and works his way down throughout the entire house until he reaches the bottom (basement or crawlspace). However, home inspectors aren't building code inspectors. They simply look at function and safety aspects, but can't determine whether specific elements meet current codes.
Order Inspections Earlier
Home inspections traditionally don't happen until after you've made a purchase offer, but some real estate professionals and inspectors alike feel it's wise to do it sooner. While this might not be a "secret," research has shown that offers made after a pre-inspection have a higher success rate than offers without one. Your pre-inspection can even become a "secret" weapon you can use to win a bidding war. Since you know more about what's wrong with the home, you can bid with more confidence. However, buying a home after a pre-inspection could cause you to have less leverage to convince the seller to repair something or drop the price, since you already knew what was wrong with the house and wanted it anyway.
Call a Professional
Some inspectors might like to keep it secret that they aren't always in a good position to detect serious problems and you may need someone who specializes in certain areas. First, home inspectors are only obligated to inspect readily accessible areas of a home, so it's up to their discretion how much digging they do. For example, if a fireplace's chimney or flue isn't easily accessible, they can't determine whether it's a fire hazard or could break away from the house. They also can't determine how long a particular component is likely to last, such as an older air conditioning system, which may work, but they can't tell you how adequately.
Other Secrets Revealed
Another secret some inspectors might not want you to know is they should spend at least two hours at the home you're buying or you're not getting your money's worth. However, it's no secret that any inspector who doesn't want you present for the inspection should give you pause. You should always order an inspection and be present, even if it's a brand-new home, which could still have numerous construction issues.
Curious which home buying situations are some of the worst? Some inspectors will tell you to steer clear of homes previously owned by do-it-yourselfers, who might not have had the appropriate know-how to take on some of the projects they completed. Other inspectors might warn against buying a home from a home flipper, who might have cut corners or intentionally hide problems to increase his profit.
Finally, if your realtor doesn't want you to hire an inspector known as a "deal killer," this may be the one you want to hire. After all, if you're buying a home with lots of problems, you want to know.
Date : 3/16/2017