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Why You Need A Good Home Inspection

Appearances can be deceiving! That's why it's important to hire a trained set of eyes to help you uncover problems that otherwise might go unnoticed. A professional home inspection can help disclose a wide variety of common defects of a property including:

While buyers home order most inspections as part of their pre-purchase investigation, sellers and homeowners too can benefit from a home inspector's services. A seller, for example, may want to determine what repairs he needs to make before putting a home on the market. And conscientious homeowners may simply want to make sure that needed maintenance on their home isn't being overlooked.

To find a reputable home inspector in your area, ask your local realtor for a recommendation -- or three! Before choosing a home inspector, ask to see a copy of a recent report he or she has prepared on a similar property. Read the fine print carefully to determine what (if any) warrantees are being made and what matters will be excluded from the report.

TIP: The home inspection field is still an "emerging" industry, and certification requirements (if any) vary from state to state. Before hiring an inspector, be sure to ask about their length of experience and credentials. Two of the largest national organizations that certify home inspectors are American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).

TIP: If a home inspection discloses structural issues or other specialized concerns, you may wish to obtain additional inspections or professional advice — a separate roofing inspection if roof leaks are suspected, for example, or an engineering report if slippage or other structural issues are raised. It's important that you understand the exact nature and extent of any serious problem — before you buy!