Buying a home is very likely the single largest investment you will ever make during your life. It’s also the purchase you’re likely to know the least about. Even if you have owned a home before or you’re savvy about construction and other related issues, it’s important to acknowledge that houses are complicated and that lots of things can go wrong. Plumbing deteriorates, foundations crack, and electrical systems become outdated and unsafe. New home building inspections in Philadelphia, PA, are your best tool for learning all you can about your new home and protecting yourself from an unsound investment. Never finalize a home purchase without a home inspection.
Professional, objective home inspectors evaluate all the major systems in the home, including the following:
All the inspector’s findings are presented in a comprehensive report that effectively becomes the owner’s manual for your home. The report will identify safety concerns, outline system shut-off locations that you can use during an emergency, and give you a clear idea of what it will cost to maintain that home over the next 5-10 years. You can also use the report to tighten up negotiations with the seller.
Finding an inspector you can trust to be thorough and provide reliable information is critical. Your realtor will often be able to recommend a good inspector for you, or you can get referrals from friends and other acquaintances. Before you settle on an inspector, it’s a good idea to consider the following:
Training and licensing for home inspectors varies wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As a result, your best bet for hiring a reputable inspector is to work with a company that provides rigorous training and requires certifications for all its inspectors. Technical expertise is absolutely critical. Don’t hesitate to ask about issues related to training and licensing.
Many homes include features that require specific training and experience. Examples include the following:
Older homes need to be inspected by inspectors who have experience inspecting older homes. Plumbing, electricity, insulation, and other systems look very different in homes that are more than 25 years old and look extremely different in homes that are more than 50 years old. Your inspector needs to be able to tell you that your old pipes are working just fine.
If you have any concern at all about the roof of your new home, a residential roofing inspection in Philadelphia, PA, is a must. Most inspectors will give the roof a broad overview and identify areas of obvious concern. But if you already have concerns, you’ll need a roof inspection. Some home inspectors will conduct full-scale roof inspections, while others will refer you elsewhere. Ask to be sure you can get what you need.
Many other home features require specialized expertise. Pools, spas, and wood-burning heating systems are just a few examples. Be sure to ask if your inspector is qualified to give an opinion on the special features of your home.
Beyond training and experience, another to gauge the credibility of an inspector is to look for membership in professional organizations. Many of these organizations require their members to meet set standards for qualifications and training.
Don’t skip the inspection, and don’t hire an inspector without asking these important questions. Quality home inspections will help you buy your next home with confidence.