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Gay Realtor Answers, Do I really have to get an inspection on the home I'm buying?

Home inspections are absolutely vital when considering a real estate purchase. .

A home, far from being a monolithic thing, is in fact a network of interlocking systems – structural, heating, ductwork, plumbing, electrical – which required a wide range of expertise to build. Since the average individual does not possess the abilities of a carpenter, plumber, electrician, landscaper, architect, and construction worker, it’s important to hire an individual who has qualified to judge the work of each. Additionally, there are concerns as regards toxic substances, such as radon, asbestos, and lead that are invisible to the naked eye. These substances require special equipment to detect their presence. A new concern in rural America is whether methamphetamines were ever manufactured in the home, as the dangerous chemicals used to create these substances leave poisonous residues in surrounding materials. .

While a home may look nice from the outside, and even the inside, building codes have evolved and changed over the years. A home which was up to code in 1950 may be dangerous by the standards of 2010. Each home was built by a different company, with different subcontractors, and the quality of materials used varies. With the exception of tract housing, it’s impossible to say one home is identical to another. It is thus the duty of the home inspector to inspect and assure a potential home buyer that, regardless of these variables, the home is suitable for human habitation according to current guidelines, and is likely to remain so in the immediate to near future. .

The requirements for home inspectors vary on a state to state basis, and can be found in the statutory law of a given state. Some states have licensing tests (the National Home Inspector Exam), and additional certification which is required; others do not. However, there are professional organizations for home inspectors which take the guesswork out of hiring a home inspector. The largest of these is the American Society of Home Inspectors, or ASHI, although the National Association of Home Inspectors (or NAHI) also has numerous members. These organizations require that their members subscribe to certain ethics and business practices, thus ensuring a consistent level of quality, regardless of state. .

Finally, many home insurance companies require that an inspection be completed and filed prior to coverage. Some banks and lending institutions may require the same before mortgage documents can be filed. This is their attempt to minimize risk on an investment..

Another great source for a quality home inspector is your real estate broker, most will have a list of three certified inspectors that the agent has worked with personally in the past and can verify the quality of services they provide..

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of offering Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast..