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Frequently Asked Questions about Building Inspections

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Building inspections, also known as pre-purchase inspections are not always easily understood. One of the reasons is that people think a building inspection is only performed on old homes or buildings, but it can be just as beneficial when you are buying something that was just built. If you are a buyer in the real estate market, here are some answers to commonly asked building inspection questions to help you understand how it can benefit you.

Does One Need to Inspect a New Construction? - Most buyers of a new home or new commercial building mistakenly believe that it's a waste of time to order an inspection on a newly-built structure. But the truth is that just because a building or house is new doesn't mean that it is sound. A building inspection can identify any structural defects that could cause problems down the line. In addition, an inspection can determine if all the appliances were installed correctly and if the ductwork is sound. Inspecting a new construction before you move in can save you inconvenience, because if repairs need to be made, they can be done while the structure is still empty.

Are There Any Negotiating Benefits with an Inspection? - If you are buying a house or commercial property, and an inspection reveals problems, you can use those problems to negotiate a better sales price. It's not uncommon for buyers to ask sellers to trim the price of a home based on existing issues discovered through an inspection. Some sellers will offer to make the repairs instead of reducing the sales price, but others will just cut the price by the amount that the repairs will cost.

Do Building Inspections Include a Pest Report? - Although building inspections will unearth damage to a building or home caused by pests such as rodents and termites, the report itself will not include information about pest infestations or the areas where they are located on the property. To obtain this type of information, you will need to order a pest inspection, which is performed by a qualified, licensed pest control technician. If your building inspection report shows any signs of damage by pests, that's a sure sign that you need to follow up with a pest inspection.

What Are Some Overlooked Items One Should Ask to Be Included? - Typically, a building inspection will include a survey of the inside and outside of a home or building, the roof, the slab and any basement or cellar that is on the property. However, some items that tend to be overlooked that you should make sure are included for inspection are evidence of possible asbestos, which is critical if the home or building was constructed prior to 1980, as asbestos was a common building material before that date, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and electrical outlets. You'd be surprised at how many inspectors assume that outlets are operational, when in fact, they are not working.