Don’t Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish – Hire a Home Inspector

Do you really need that home inspection?

Alexandria home buyers on a budget are often tempted to skip the home inspection. Either they’ve looked the house over carefully themselves and see nothing wrong or it’s a new house and they assume that all will be well.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough. Saying “no” to the inspection on your new Alexandria home is a false economy that could cost thousands.

The problems that could be hiding behind the walls, in the attic, or in a crawl space  could cost far more than a few hundred dollars for a home inspection.

A home inspector will look at all of it. He or she will test the electrical outlets, check the water pressure, test to see that the furnace and air conditioner are working properly, check any appliances that will stay with the house, and then begin looking behind the scenes.

Home inspectors are trained to notice where there has been water damage that may have been repaired or may have been covered up. Then they investigate.

Home inspectors go up into attics to see that all the vent connections are secure and that the insulation is adequate. They’ll also look for insect infestations and mold.

Then they go under the house looking for the same kinds of problems.

Inspectors find things that you might never dream of. For instance, one inspector found the shut-off valve for a hot water tank wedged behind a newly installed furnace – in a spot where it could not be reached without removing the furnace.

An inspector will also alert the buyer to safety hazards such as a loose deck railing, missing GFI outlets in kitchen or bath, or an inadequate electrical panel.

New construction isn’t immune to problems.

Even honest, conscientious contractors can run into problems if they get in a hurry or trust a subcontractor who got in a hurry. For instance, in one home the light fixture over the kitchen island didn’t work – and the homeowner assumed it was a faulty light fixture. No – it simply had never been connected to electricity.

Home inspectors don’t make such assumptions – they investigate and find the answers.

Do some inspectors go overboard with “nit-picking?”

Sure, some do. But you and your agent can go over the report with the inspector and learn which issues are trivial and which need attention before you finalize that Alexandria home purchase.

One more thing…

If you’re about to put your home on the market, it can’t hurt to have your own inspection done. Then you can address problems in advance and avoid delays that could cost you a sale.

Call me – I’ll be happy to refer you to a few excellent Alexandria home inspectors whom some of my past clients have been very happy with who will be glad to alert you to any repairs that should be completed before you list your home.

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