You’ve found the ideal house in a great location. Before you start packing your moving boxes, make sure it’s a sound investment too.
Most of us wouldn’t dream of buying a used car without a mechanical checkup. Yet with only a couple of 20-minute walk-throughs, we consider buying a home that’s much more expensive. An inspection is one of the best investments a buyer can make. Here’s what you should know—and what not to ask.
What to Expect: The inspector will check all components in your house, leaving termite, septic system and well inspections to specialists. (Click here for a list of checkpoints.) A typical inspection costs $300–$400 and takes about three hours. Even if you’re an out-of state buyer, arrange to tag along. You’ll see problems firsthand and learn valuable things such as where to find the water shutoffs.
The Forbidden Question: Only one question is off-limits: “Should I buy this house or not?” That decision is yours alone. Read the report completely and call your inspector with any questions.
The Seller’s Role: There is nothing to keep a seller from being present for the inspection too. It’s also wise to initiate a separate inspection of your own. Learn more at century21.com under the “Selling Advice” tab.