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Getting Your Home Inspected

January 6th, 2009

A house is one of the major investments in a person’s life. That is why a home inspection contingency is important to protect homebuyers from purchasing houses, especially if they are foreclosed homes, which may have hidden structural problems and material defects.

A home inspection contingency is a stipulation in the purchase contract that allows homebuyers to conduct an inspection of the house and property where it is located before closing. This will give the homebuyer an option to withdraw from buying the house if a home inspection report showed that it has major structural and material problems.

An inspection contingency could also allow the homebuyer to renegotiate his price offer to reflect the cost of repairs.

Finding a Home Inspector

A homebuyer can ask a real estate agent for names of inspectors or home inspection companies in the area. Or he can try to find one on the Internet or telephone directory. It is advisable that the homebuyer take the time to learn some pertinent information about the inspector.

Here are some things that a homebuyer should find out before hiring an inspector:

  • License – most states require that all home inspectors should be licensed. Wisconsin requires that all home inspectors should attend continuing education classes of not less than 20 hours annually.
  • Organizational affiliation – Most efficient home inspectors are affiliated with national organizations such as the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) and American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). A membership with an organization means that the inspector follows guidelines and code of ethics.
  • Number of years in the home inspection service – ask for at least three referrals from previous clients. This way the homebuyer will know the quality of work rendered by the inspector.

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