Your Home Inspection

A Home Inspection is an important part of purchasing a home. It will provide you with a better understanding of the property conditions at the time of the inspection. You will benefit from a professional Home Inspection in three ways.

First, your Home Inspector will look for evidence of any Material Defects or Safety Hazards that may exist in the home you plan to purchase. A Material Defect is defined by Pennsylvania law as a problem that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the property. This is generally considered to be any system or component of the house that is not functioning as intended and will cost more than $500 to correct. A Safety Hazard, on the other hand, is anything that involves an unreasonable risk of personal injury, regardless of the cost to correct it. Material Defects and Safety Hazards are problems that could influence your decision to purchase the home. You should consult with your Realtor® for advice if Material Defects or Safety Hazards are discovered.

Second, your Home Inspector will point out any minor defects observed during the inspection. These are generally less serious than Material Defects and are less costly to correct. You can usually address these items after you move in to your new home. Your Home Inspector may be able to give you advice on correcting these items.

Finally, your Home Inspector will explain the proper operation and maintenance of the major systems of your new home. First-time homeowners and seasoned veterans alike will benefit from information such as the location of water, electric and gas shutoffs, cleaning procedures for water and air filters, and proper operation of heating and cooling systems. Other items, such as caulking and painting requirements, winterization, and surface-water control will help you operate your home safely and efficiently. Many homebuyers have said that this information alone was worth the cost of the Home Inspection!

There are many Home Inspectors in the area from which you may choose. You should select a Home Inspector based on his qualifications and recommendations from past clients or your friends and acquaintances. By law, your Home Inspector must be a member in good standing in a national home inspection association, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI®) or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI®), in order for you to use the inspector's report in your negotiation with the seller. Your Realtor® may be able to assist you in selecting an inspector who will best meet your needs.

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