Inspections are designed to disclose defects in the property that could materially affect its safety, livability or resale value. They won’t disclose cosmetic problems, so you should cover those in your own basic inspection.
Depending on the type of financing you choose, several home inspections may be conducted. After you do a surface inspection, have a reputable professional conduct a whole-house inspection. Get a recommendation from your agent, a friend, relatives or neighbors.
Should you select a government loan (FHA or VA), there will be a further inspection at the appraisal stage, which amounts to a mini-inspection. Do not rely on this as your only inspection and do not let your agent, family or friends or, especially, the seller dissuade you from having another, thorough inspection done.
In fact, any offer to purchase should be contingent upon a whole-house inspection with a satisfactory report. There will be a time limit — typically seven to 10 days — for the inspection to take place. Fees can range from $200 to $500, but you won’t get stuck with major repairs that a good home inspector would have found.
Termite, well, sewer and septic certificates
These are certifications that the sewage and water supply work properly and that the property is free of termites and/or other wood-destroying insects.
When your inspection and certifications are complete, you will be armed with important information for a smooth closing.