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Why Are Home Inspections Necessary?



If you're purchasing a home, your purchase offer should be contingent on a home inspection. While you may be reluctant to spend a few hundred dollars to hire a professional home inspector, it is money that is well spent. That's because a home inspection can reveal structural issues, defects, potential problems and even elements of the home that are not as they were advertised.

If the home inspection reveals significant-and potentially costly-problems, you and your real estate attorney can use the resulting report to either cancel your purchase offer or negotiate a better deal on the property.

What Does a Home Inspector Do?

A home inspector is a professional who is hired to examine the structure of a building as well as its major systems, such as the furnace and air conditioning equipment. According to the National Association of Home Inspectors:

"Home Inspectors do not do any destructive testing, nor do they have x-ray vision. Consumers should not expect their reports to include the condition of every nail, wire or pipe in the home. The Home Inspector is primarily concerned with pointing out adverse conditions and/or safety-related concerns, rather than small or cosmetic items, which are considered readily apparent to the buyers. A home inspection is not a code compliance inspection and a home inspector will not inspect inaccessible areas of the home."

Many states, but not all of them, require a home inspector to be licensed. Although recommendations can be invaluable when hiring an inspector, you should ask a few questions about the inspector's qualifications:

  • Is the inspector licensed (if your state requires licensing)?
  • How many years of experience does the inspector have?
  • Is the inspector a member of any of the professional associations of home inspectors, such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors?

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