Buying Your Home - Home Inspections & Warranties

Do I need a home inspection?
Yes! Buying a home is a major life event. Purchasing a home in "as is" condition is a risky proposition. Major repairs on homes can amount to thousands of dollars. Plumbing, electrical and roof problems represent significant and complex systems that are expensive to fix.
How do I find a home inspector?
Your real estate agent is one source. But keeping them independent of the agent may be a good idea. Inspectors are listed in the yellow pages. You can ask for referrals from friends or family members. Ask for their credentials, such as contractor's license or engineering certificate. Also, check out their references.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has developed formal inspection guidelines and a professional code of ethics for its members. Membership to ASHI is not automatic; proven field experience and technical knowledge of structures and their various systems and appliances are a prerequisite. One can usually find an inspector by looking in the phone book or by inquiring at a real estate office or local Realtor association. Rates for the inspection service will vary depending on the size and type of property. Many inspectors charge around $400, but costs go up with the scope of the inspection.
What's a home inspection?
A home inspection is when a paid professional inspector -- often a contractor or an engineer -- inspects the home, searching for defects or other problems that might plague the owner later on. They usually represent the buyer and are paid by the buyer. The inspection usually takes place after a purchase contract between the buyer and seller has been signed.