In the article by Routers Money, posted January 18, 2011 entitled “First time buyer? 5 tips on how to avoid a money pit“, David Tammy, President of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), makes several reasonable points concerning the value of home inspectors.
Tammy states “If you walk in and the basement is wet or there is mold growing on the walls then you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know there’s a problem, but most homeowners don’t have the expertise to do a comprehensive inspection and determine if there are significant and real problems with a house.
Buyers should come armed with specific questions for an inspector: How long will the inspection process take? Do you specialize in residential versus commercial property? Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspection organization? ”
Here are five tips to help you ensure your home purchase is not a money pit:
- Open your eyes and your nose. Visible signs of water stains or pooling could indicate potential foundation or structural issues. This could also result in potentially costly secondary electrical problems. Nasty smells could indicate mold which could also be expensive to remove.
- Don’t be seduced by shiny appliances or expensive counter tops. Cosmetically covering things up are home “flippers” specialties, and they may hide underlying problems.
- Consult a professional home inspector. Ensure that your home inspector is qualified, experienced, and belongs to a reputable licensing certification body. This will help you get reliable and unbiased information about the condition of the house you are considering to buy.
- Get the inspection report in writing. Documentation and photos may help with future issues where insurance claims may be disputed.
- Read the fine print. Don’t sign the purchase agreement unless there is time to complete a home inspection prior to finalizing the deal. This simple tip could be the difference between buying a trouble free home or a “money pit.”