Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Home Inspections & Warranties

Do I need a home inspection?
Yes. Buying a home "as is" is a risky proposition. Major repairs on homes can amount to thousands of dollars. Plumbing, electrical and roof problems represent significant and complex systems that are expensive to fix.

How do I find a home inspector?
Ask us! We always keep a list of quality home inspectors. Inspectors are listed in the yellow pages, and easily search able on the google. You can ask for referrals from friends. Ask for their credentials, such as contractor's license or engineering certificate. Also, check out their references. We strongly suggest you always use a licensed home inspector, not a contractor.

How do I find a home inspector?
In order to find a home inspector, Dian Hymer, author of "Buying and Selling a Home A Complete Guide," Chronicle Books, San Francisco; 1994, advises looking for someone with demonstrable qualifications. "Ideally, the general inspector you select should be either an engineer, an architect, or a contractor. When possible, hire an inspector who belongs to one of the home inspection trade organizations."

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has developed formal inspection guidelines and a professional code of ethics for its members. Membership to ASHI is not automatic; proven field experience and technical knowledge of structures and their various systems and appliances are a prerequisite. One can usually find an inspector by looking in the phone book or by asking us. Rates for the service vary greatly. Many inspectors charge about $400, but costs go up with the scope of the inspection. Different mortgage options may dictate the scope of your inspection. For example VA always require a Wood Destroying Insect inspection.

What's a home inspection?
A home inspection is when a paid professional inspector -- often a licensed home inspector or an engineer -- inspects the home, searching for defects or other problems that might plague the owner later on. They represent the buyer and are paid for at the time of inspection. The inspection usually takes place after a purchase contract between buyer and seller has been signed. However in slower markets it is wise to do this before an offer is accepted.

Dan Moriarty
Dan Moriarty