Is a home inspection necessary?

If you have found the perfect home, you may be reluctant to learn about its defects. However, you certainly don't want to purchase a home and find out the hard way that something is seriously wrong. While many skip the inspection to save time and money, in some cases, those homebuyers regret their decisions when major problems require expensive repairs.

The scope of the inspection

Most home inspectors will not move furniture or lift rugs because of the possibility of damaging floors or walls. However, while searching for any issues that may affect the function or safety of the home, these certified professionals may enter any accessible corner of your potential new home, particularly:

  • Inside the house
  • Outside the house
  • The attic
  • The basement and crawlspace

The inspector is looking for major defects. Most states, including Massachusetts, classify a major defect as one that could cost more than $1,000 to repair or one that would prohibit you from obtaining insurance on the home. One example of the latter is a defective breaker box.

Gathering valuable information

In addition to searching for major defects, an inspector will also check for issues that may lead to serious problems. For example, he or she will turn on the faucets and appliances, check for signs of water damage, and examine the insulation in the attic. While you might expect an inspection to include the important features like electricity and plumbing, you may be surprised to see the inspector checking the stability of handrails and walkways.

All of these items will be included in a detailed report that the inspector will send you after completing the process. A good, thorough inspection should take about three hours and provide you with enough information about the house to allow you to determine if it is worth the money. On the other hand, if the inspection reveals only minor issues, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to have the repairs made or to reduce the price on the house.

Working with a legal advocate

As vital as the home inspection is for the confident purchase of a home, it is only one element in a complex legal process that is going to end up costing you thousands of dollars. Whether this is your first real estate purchase or you have closed on a dozen properties, you will benefit from the proven counsel of an experienced attorney.

From the day you decide to make an offer on a property to the day the seller places the keys in your hand, you will face countless legal issues. Having an attorney to answer your questions and handle the details of the transaction will improve your chances of reaching closing day smoothly and confidently.

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