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How to Avoid Nasty Surprises When Buying a Home

By Mike WheatleyMay 05, 2011
  • While a home inspection is an essential part of any property purchase, don’t be too disappointed if you move in only to find a whole host of problems suddenly showing up in your new abode.

    “The job of the home inspector is to search for a property’s material defects, for instance things that don’t work, things that could be hazardous or things that might be dangerous,” says Kurt Saloman, the American Society of Home Inspectors' President.

     

    Home inspectors are not qualified to check every potential danger in a home
    A home inspection is no guarantee you won't have problems later on. Courtesy of Move to Redding

    “Sadly, the large majority of buyers seem to think we not only have X-Ray vision, but we can also foretell the future as well.”

    There are many things that home inspections don’t check for, such as environmental safety dangers such as asbestos, lead or radon gas, and these hazards can be expensive to deal with.

    Other things that may be overlooked include vermin or mold if it is hidden away inside the walls or beneath the floorboards.

    Therefore, in order to avoid any nasty surprises, the onus is on buyers to lookout for potential hazards themselves before they close the deal. That way, they will be in a position to ask the sellers to at least help out, if not cover the entire costs of rectifying any problems.

     

    A housing inspector will not check your home for radon gas
    Radon gas is just one problem that housing inspectors will not check for. Courtesy of Tree Hugger

    Buyers should take extra special care when they buy a property built before 1978, as many homes this age could contain asbestos or lead.

    Another way to avoid any problems rearing their head later is to invite other kinds of home safety inspectors to check the building, such as electricians, chimney inspectors, and radon testing and lead testing experts.

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