Inspecting Your Investment

inspectionIt’s no secret that buying a house can be a lot of work and a very time-consuming process, but several buyers have been adding a little bit of time to the process in order to save what could be a lot of aggravation. Brett Freebody, owner of National Property Inspectors, estimates that about 95 percent of home-buyers make sure to get a home inspection before closing their deals.

“The biggest mistake is not getting one, because then you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into,” said Freebody. “We want to make sure our customers have no surprises when they move in.”

Such surprises might include structural issues, malfunctioning heat or air-conditioning, faulty electrical work or an unreliable roof. Home inspections will typically take place within a few days of the offer on the home. They are not mandatory, but are often highly recommended as a means of protecting the buyer. Freebody notes that an uninspected house leaves other parties at risk as well.

“It’s not just the person purchasing the home being protected,” he said. “[An inspection] also reduces liability on the part of the real estate agents.”

While the decision to get a home inspection may seem an easy one, finding a reliable home inspector is another matter. Freebody recommends that buyers look for inspectors who are New York state-licensed, certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors and who carry errors and omissions insurance, among other things. In terms of what to watch out for in a home inspector, he offers one notable red flag.

“Unfortunately, when you hear a price that sounds really low, that’s usually a bad sign,” Freebody said. “The less reliable home inspectors tend to cost the cheapest.”

In addition to warning against possible problems with the house, home inspection companies often offer various warranties and will offer to check appliances periodically. With so many benefits available, it may seem odd that anyone wouldn’t opt for a home inspection, but there is one thing that might drive someone to skip over it.

“Pressure,” explains Freebody. “Sometimes, it will get back to a
potential buyer that there is someone else who is willing to close the deal without a home inspection, which isn’t even always true. Then the buyer will worry that they’re going to lose the house, so they’ll rush to purchase it without an inspection.”

Though the fear of losing out on a home may make one antsy, Freebody insists that it pays to take caution.

“You’re better off waiting for an inspection,” he said. “You should never feel rushed when making the biggest purchase of your life.”

Joseph Catrone
Joseph Catrone is the former editor of Farmingdale Observer, Hicksville News, Levittown Tribune and Massapequa Observer.

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