Professional Inspections Can Save You from Financial Ruin

April 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Real Estate Investing

Real estate is perhaps one of the most expensive investments around. However, it can also produce higher rates of return than other things you may purchase. This is why it’s so important to ensure your purchase is sound and correct through a professional inspector’s report. This report may allow for further negotiations to a lower purchase price, or persuade you that it isn’t the right property for you.

One of the first things you will need to look for is termite damage. Any wood construction runs the risk of being damaged by these pesky little insects, and can become a very costly repair now and in the future. A special inspection is required for this service, but will save you money in the long run.

A home inspector will check the entire property and home or building for structural and safety issues. Yes, his service comes with a fee, but can be negotiated in the purchase agreement, and will save you a lot of headache down the road; virtually no property is without its hidden flaws until you move in and live there a while, so you may as well know what you’re getting in to.

Foundation cracks or unlevel concrete can present a huge problem, and may even be noticeable to the naked eye. Any flooding or water that finds its way under the property will feed mold and can lead to other issues such as a failed septic tank.

The foundation of a house supports all floors and thus walls in the house, so any type of damage to it will directly affect the entire structure. Mold and mildew will also be noted; these can affect your health and the quality of the structure, too.

Electrical and plumbing systems are checked for water pressure (lower psi in the system clues the inspector into a possible leak underground or in a wall), damage or zoning violations that would also need to be addressed. Any pipes found with rust, lead in the paint on the walls, or other viable concerns will be noted.

Not only are these inspections important to you, but your mortgage company may refuse to finance homes with certain kinds or levels of damage. This is because they know that if you default on the loan, they will be left with the responsibility of fixing it.

Fire risks such as faulty or corroded electrical wiring, incorrect wiring methods, inadequate circuit breakers or uncovered switches will all be noted in the electrical inspection.

Attics and roofs are also looked at, and if there is added strength needed in an area, your professional inspector will include this in his report. Roofs which need replacement are also another costly expense and a tool to negotiate a lower price or require the seller to fix it prior to closing.

These inspections can cost a few hundred to several hundred dollars, and may also include all well or septic systems if you so choose. Hire a professional investigator to ensure you’re not about to pay too much for the home you fell in love with!