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Knowledge Base->Home Inspection->Why should I hire a home inspector

      A house is perhaps the largest purchase most people have ever made. For a relatively small cost, it makes sense to have as much unbiased information as possible about the house you are about to buy. Do you like expensive surprises? It is better to know about certain issues before you sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement than to find out them four months after you have been living in the house. Very often you will need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to put the house in proper and safe condition. homeinspection1.jpg
        So the money you spend on an inspection you may end up saving many times over. Most people are not intimately familiar with the workings of construction and all mechanical systems. A good home inspector has taken extensive training prior to entering the field and also undergoes on-going training in order to do work. As trained home inspectors, they learned about the inner workings of different types of systems such as heating, air conditioning, roofing, building construction, plumbing and electricity, etc.
      Not only sellers and buyers hire home inspectors, but contractors hire an inspector because of areas where they may have limited knowledge, such as electricity or heating. Most of contractors has not been trained in all of those areas and may be unable to provide critical information regarding a certain system. Also, a good home inspector will use state-of-the-art inspection tools, such as moisture meters and combustible gas detectors, which many contractors do not own. Moreover, if you are considering calling in a friend or relative who is a contractor, they may not want to undertake the responsibility of being the determining factor in your decision whether or not you buy a particular house. Also, home inspectors are forbidden by the state to offer either repair services on houses they inspect or estimation of cost since this is considered a conflict of interest. If your inspector does this, fire him/her immediately.
      There is a common misunderstanding that a newly-built house doesn't need a home inspection. A new house is not like a new car. Cars are manufactured on an assembly line with strict, well-tested quality control procedures in place (Even new cars are not reliable, for example, Toyota). Home construction involves a series of contractors and their sub-contractors. The construction can be affected by worker incompetence, emotional issues, and possibly that workers provided the lowest bid to a builder and were really in a hurry to get job done so they could move on to their next job, no matter what corners needed to be cut. For example, unsafe wiring, plumbing leaks, and poor installations of roofing are seen in many houses built by some unreliable builders.
      Water leakage, electrical problem, heating system problem and more are seen in co-op or condo. Although co-ops and condos collect a monthly common charge to cover certain maintenance and/or utilities, a number of problems may not be covered. Also, some common charges do not cover interior damage caused by exterior roofing or siding failure. You need to carefully read the maintenance charge agreement to understand what is covered by the owners' association and what is not. You should have the unit professionally inspected to let you become aware of any problems.
      Here is a list of major concerns found on a regular basis during home inspections:
  1. Improper and dangerous electrical wiring
  2. Active water entry/leakage especially in basement
  3. Termite damage
  4. Roof problems
  5. High carbon monoxide content in heating system
  6. Structural deficiency
  7. Gas pipe leakage
  8. Radon problem

      Read more home inspection info from Massachusetts government website.

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