Better Safe than Sorry — Why Home Inspections are Crucial

LindaRea

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re trading up, knowing the essentials of home inspection are the key to your long-term health, happiness and safety. While it may be tempting to indulge in a seemingly great foreclosure, it could turn into a real money pit and your worst nightmare, so buyer beware, do not skimp on the home inspection.

Finding the right person for the job.

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Check Angie’s List when in doubt. Angie’s List is a time-tested compilation of trusted contractors and home inspectors are included in the roundup of professionals trusted by local realtors. Your realtor should also have a trusted inspector to refer you to, one they have a good working relationship with.

Home Inspection Checklist

What exactly does a home inspector check for? They look for major problems with structure, safety, warranty issues that could arise during the homeowner’s insurance process.

According to americanhomeinspectordirectory.com, they check the interior and exterior for problems — including gutters, chimneys, roofs, windows and doors, foundations, porches and decks.

Inside, they check the floors, ceilings and plumbing fixtures. Common things an inspector will look for include signs of leakage, cracks in the floor, and whether or not there has been major repair work done. They also check the gutters, chimney and of course the window to see if they need replacing. The heating and cooling systems, along with electrical work are all checkpoints an inspector will look at prior to signing off on approval.

Environmental Concerns

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The things you’d think matter most are often not included in a standard home inspection. These can be deadly, so it’s important to check public records and ask for disclosure prior to purchasing a home. A homeowner is obligated to disclose toxic mold, radon gas, asbestos and lead paint for health and safety reasons. They may not offer the information up, but if you inquire, they must be truthful or you may have legal issues.

Contact the Environmental Protection Agency or Oakland County Health Department if you are unable to obtain information from the homeowner for public records. Different cities have different qualifications for land records, but most are listed on the SuperIndex. Rochester and Rochester Hills have links for property information on their respective city’s websites. If you enter the property address or id, the records should appear. In some instances, where environmental hazards have been a concern on a tax-exempt property, you’ll need to exercise the Freedom of Information Act (foia) to obtain records about lead exposure and toxic substances. A good inspector can guide you through this process.

No home is without its flaws and nuances — only new construction can offer a clean slate. However, with the proper guidance and a good professional leading the way, you can rest assured that your first home will be safe and sound — or at least find out what you need to do to get it there. Either way, a home inspection can be the difference between a sound investment and a money pit.

Visit The Linda Rea Team at 1002 N. Main Street in Downtown Rochester. Call 248-709-3786 or visit www.LindaReaTeam.com for more information. Visit us on Facebook at Facebook/TheLindaReaTeam.