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Important Considerations When Buying A Home

What to look for when you're looking for a home....


OK. You have decided to seriously begin looking for your new home. This is, in itself, a very large step.


Once you've found that home, your emotions can play a very large factor in making a decision. It is important to look beyond your emotions, to be sure that this is really the home for you.


The following is a list of items to help guide you in your decision:

  • Note the general upkeep of the interior and exterior of the home. Has it been well maintained? This is a good indicator of the concealed portions of the home.
  • View the roof. Is there any sign of deterioration? Better yet, try to visit the home during or after a period of rainfall and look for any signs of water penetration.
  • Turn on the lights and operate the plumbing fixtures. Any unusual operations or evidence of staining?
  • Check the operation of the windows and doors. Do they open and close easily? Door frames that are significantly out of alignment may indicate structural movement.
  • View the basement foundation walls and floor. Any evidence of cracking or water penetration? Once again, try to visit the home during, or after, a period of rainfall.
  • Ask questions!!!! Of the sellers, tenants, realtors...even neighbors.


By performing these basic steps, you may be able to recognize concerns in advance. This information may allow you to make a more informed decision before persuing a particular house.


Now that you have found a house which strikes your emotional senses and meets your basic review, it's time to consider a Professional Home Inspection.


Interviewing a Home Inspection Company and Inspector....


If the selection of a Home Inspection Company and Inspector is made carefully and ahead of time, home buyers will have one less detail to worry about during the chaos and excitement of finding a new home.


The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) suggests calling several Inspectors in your area and interviewing them in advance to ascertain their qualifications.


Here are some important questions to ask. Is the Inspector fully compliant with any inspection laws in your state?

  • Is the Inspector a candidate for or member of ASHI?
  • Will the Inspection and Report be done in accordance with ASHI's Standards of Practice?
  • How long has the Inspector been in business? Is the Inspector specifically experienced in residential construction?
  • Does the Company offer to do any repairs or improvements based on its Inspection? This might cause a conflict of interest.
  • How long will the Inspection take? The average is 2-21/2 hours. Anything less is not enough time to do a thorough Inspection.
  • How much will the Inspection cost? You should never bargain hunt for a Professional Service, but it is advisable to know the fee in advance.
  • Does the Inspector provide a written or computer generated report? Either is acceptable; typically the computer generated report may be easier to understand.
  • Does the Inspector encourage the client to attend the Inspection? An Inspectors' refusal should raise a red flag.
  • Does the Inspector participate in continuing educational programs to keep his expertise up to date?


How to prepare yourself for a Home Inspection....


Now that you have found a qualified Inspector, it's time to prepare yourself for the Inspection. By being prepared, you will be sure to get the most out of this sometimes exhausting experience.


The following should be considered:

  • Arrive on time for the appointment and stay with the Inspector.
  • Prepare a list of questions. DON'T be afraid to ask questions. Remember, this is your opportunity to learn about the home.
  • Do not try to remember everything the Inspector says; rather, confirm that all comments will be noted on the report. Then, review the ENTIRE report at your leisure and call the Inspector with any questions.
  • Review a copy of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standards of Practice. This will enable you to fully understand which items will be reviewed.
  • Prioritize any issues noted within the report.


Most importantly...Remember the reasons that attracted you to the house.


Understand that a Home Inspection is intended only to make you aware of concerns and typically will not point out the attractive features of the property. ~