Des Plaines, Ill. (June 9, 2009) - As many consumers are considering buying a house to take advantage of first-time homebuyer tax credits, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) reminds them about the importance of getting a professional home inspection.
A standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components. The report will include covered systems and components the home inspector finds that are not functioning properly, significantly deficient, unsafe, or are near the end of their service lives.
According to a GAO (Government Accountability Office) study1, many homebuyers do not know that appraisals are not home inspections and that the Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that buyers obtain a voluntary home inspection. Many also think that FHA performs inspections automatically or do not realize that they need to initiate an inspection.
“Homebuyers should know a professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house,” Richardson said. “It is not an appraisal, which determines market value.”
Richardson also said that consumers should know that they can hire a home inspector after they’ve made an offer on a home and before closing. They also can request to have their offer be contingent on the findings of a home inspection, and have it stated in the contract. In some cases, homebuyers also may be able to renegotiate their offers because of the results of the home inspection.
ASHI members applauded Congress for reinforcing the importance of a home inspection with the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which recently passed by a wide margin in the House of Representatives. Several provisions in the bill, which were supported by ASHI and championed on Capitol Hill by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), advocate for first-time and low-income homebuyers.
Homebuyers can locate their closest ASHI inspector to schedule an inspection through ASHI's Web site at www.ASHI.org. ASHI's "Find an Inspector" tool allows homeowners to locate an inspector in their area by language or services provided.
About the American Society of Home Inspectors