When buying a new home, many people think that they know everything about home purchasing and real estate. They have done all possible research, seen all possible venues and know exactly what they want. However, what most of them (especially the ones who lack experience) fail to realize is that they may never spot all hazards and problems in their future home.
This is why you need to hire a building inspector. He may talk big words that you won’t understand and his report may be filled with terms that you have never heard of (such as ‘conductive to deterioration’), but at the end of the day, he or she will be able to tell you everything that is amiss with your new home.
However, in order to be able to discern what the inspector is saying, you need to ask him or her a few questions.
How bad it really is?
Building inspectors talk big, but the thing is that it usually sounds much worse than it really is. Ask your inspector to tell you plainly what the problems are, without any twisting and turning, so that you understand better.
How much will the repairs cost?
While an inspector cannot legally state the price and give you a bid for all the necessary repairs required in your house, he may give you a rough estimate for each thing that needs to be repaired and also whether the house is safe or not. No inspector will ever blow the problems out of proportion.
Who should I have to fix those problems?
You can ask the inspector if he/she knows a good handyman or repairman who will be able to fix those problems. It is advisable to do so, actually.
Firstly, it might happen that the inspector will tell you that you can easily fix the problem areas yourself and advise you on how to do it. This way you will know what to do and how much it should cost, should you decide to hire someone anyway.
Secondly, the inspectors might give you references for larger repairs. Since the inspector has recommended them, you can be sure that they are good at their respective jobs. It will save you the hassle of going through the yellow pages.
What should I fix primarily?
If you are buying a home for the first time, the inspector can give you invaluable advice about how and when to fix the problems. They know that no house is perfect as they themselves might have experienced many problems and hazards before. They will be able to advise you well for or against fixing the problems.
For example, it may happen that something in the house is at the end of its lifetime. Then, the inspector will advise you to see it out and obtain a new one through warranty, thus saving you both money and time. There are many examples like this.
All in all, the building inspector is your ally, who is there to help you see what needs to be fixed and how safe the house really is. Some people fear these inspectors for an unknown reason, but there is nothing to worry. Just follow their advice and everything will be fine.
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