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How to Get a Pre-Purchase Property Inspection

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Having a pre-purchase property inspection conducted on a home you are considering buying is essential in ensuring you do not end up with a “money pit”. Homes are a big investment; Often real estate agents and owners trying to sell will fail to mention any major and costly issues you may be taking on in buying the home. After all, serious construction, electrical, or plumbing issues tend to significantly lower the home’s value, sometimes even scaring off buyers altogether. Clearly, the parties profiting off your purchase want to keep the value as high as possible and get paid fast, even if that means concealing the truth.

How to Find a Pre-Purchase Property Inspector:

When hiring a licensed professional to inspect your potential new property, it is important to choose someone who is highly qualified, that you can trust implicitly. Chances are, your real estate agent will be more than happy to recommend an inspector they’ve worked with on multiple occasions. However, it is important to find an unbiased third party inspector that can make an accurate assessment of the property’s shortcomings. Highly experienced pre-purchase property inspectors can oftentimes cost you a pretty penny, but they’re well worth the fee, and far less expensive than buying a property that will require massive amounts of work and a huge financial commitment. Talk to family, friends, and members of your community who are homeowners, and see which property inspector they’d recommend (or warn you off of) in the area. The websites homeinspector, org and nachi.org can also help you in finding a qualified and trustworthy professional to perform your inspection.

What To Expect From a Pre-Purchase Property Inspection:

Pre-purchase property inspections search for a wide array of costly issues by examining the quality of building materials used, overall construction quality, and the structural integrity of the property. Property inspectors can also identify safety issues and deferred maintenance, as well as rank and prioritize issues which need to be addressed, and provide you with a general quote of how much the repairs would cost.
It is important that you are in attendance during the property inspection, and should perform a little inspection of your home beforehand. Make sure to take note of any recent cosmetic repairs which have been made in the home and point them out to the property inspector; These “touch-ups” could be an attempt to hide more serious issues such as water damage. Insist that every area is thoroughly examined, including the roof, attic, basement, and any sundry structures on the property including patios, sheds, and garages. Be sure to have the plumbing, electrical outlets, fire alarms, furnace, and water heater tested as well to check for any potentially dangerous problems.
Make sure your property inspector has a camera to take photos as evidence of damage, and so you can see the present damage in places you probably won’t want to go along, such as the roof or small crawlspaces. Your property inspector should also use an infrared and a thermal camera, so they can spot any issues within the walls, without having to cut out drywall. Sometimes, inspectors will charge an additional fee for this service, but it is necessary for a completely thorough inspection.