Should You Get a Home Inspection?

It's very important, and in my opinion, mandatory to have a home inspection done before you close on a house. The inspection helps with giving you an objective evaluation of any problems with the home before you move in.

Make sure you have a home inspection contingency in your contract before you sign it. You want to be able to back out of a contract if the inspection turns up any serious problems that the seller is not obligated to fix or that will be too costly for you to pay for on your own.

A home inspection report is a complex document that an inspector fills out while going over the house. The inspector will not catch everything that's wrong with a house, but they are very thorough and can catch any major problems.

The inspector reviews the house from the roof to the foundation. They review the condition of the home's heating and central air condition systems, interior plumbing, electrical systems, roof, foundation, basement, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, visible insulation and visible structure.

A home inspection usually costs between $200 to $400. This cost can be added to the closing cost or you can pay for it up front. It's up to you how you want to pay for it. Your real estate agent might offer to find a home inspector for you, but you should make the final decision on who will do the inspection.

Good home inspectors are very thorough and very detailed. Also, good home inspectors are licensed. Some states don't require licensing for home inspectors, but if you want to get the best out of an inspection, find a licensed inspector. Ask friends and family members who have had inspections done for recommendations.

Another great way to find a licensed inspector is at the American Society of Home Inspectors' (ASHI) website at Members of this organization must abide by standards and guideline practices and a code of ethics set forth by the national organization.

Another place to find licensed inspectors is at the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) website at They too have a standards of practice and code of ethics that inspectors must abide by. Both ASHI and NAHI allow you to search for home inspectors in your area.

Michelle Roebuck provides mortgage and home buying advice for people with bad credit at Sign up for her newsletter at

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