It is very easy to get caught up in the moment when on the market to purchase a new home. Once you find a home that fits your needs, and is pleasing to both your eye and your budget, there is one ting you should do before you sign on the dotted line; have it inspected by a qualified home inspector. Nothing could be worse than to take on a mortgage payment, move in, and then find you have a cracked foundation or a leaky roof, costing you additional out of pocket money that you may not have after coming up with closing costs, movers fees, etc. A qualified home inspector will find these problems for you, so that you can then make an educated purchase, if you still in fact want the home.
Some states have laws governing real estate sales that require the seller to disclose information of any known problems with the property before the sale is complete, but you would still be better benefited with a home inspector, just to be on the safe side. An inspector has nothing to gain or lose by looking at the property, and is more likely to be honest and up front about any issues he finds. Most home inspectors will look at things that you may miss, especially if you are new to this, such as potential problems with the roof, drainage, electrical systems, plumbing, foundation, etc. They can tell you if the issue is minor and can wait for repair, and estimate the amount of money it will take to fix or replace. You may be able to negotiate with the seller to have any repairs completed before you buy the home, or if you have to take care of them yourself, you can make an educated decision about how they will fit into your budget. You don’t want to purchase a house that already needs repairs that you cannot afford to have taken care of.
You may also want to consider having an environmental inspector come out as well, to make sure that the home is free of lead, mold, etc. These can cause major health issues if they are in high levels, or to someone that already has health issues, such as asthma. Lead is potentially harmful to young children and pets.
Before hiring an inspector, you should shop around for the best rate, and for the one with the best references. You will likely pay about five hundred dollars for this, so you want to make sure you are dealing with someone that is reputable and well experienced, especially if your decision will be greatly impacted by his findings. It is possible to do your own home inspection, but you will need to do some research beforehand so that you know how to spot potential problems. You can probably find help at your local library, bookstore, or on the internet. Many inspectors have state and federal licenses, and usually have to be trained to higher standards than just your regular Joe.
Remember, that you are making a big purchase, and that it is important to look at every aspect before making the final decision. Most families pay on their homes for fifteen to thirty years, struggling along the way to make ends meet. Do you want to spend this much of your life working to pay for a home that was falling down the day you purchased it?