Video Transcript: Home Inspections: It Pays to Know What You're Buying

This is the transcript of the video, "Home Inspections: It Pays to Know What You're Buying"

Stacey: How does home inspection factor into the process of buying or selling a home? Lets find out on "What Works Now"

Voice Over: AOL and Bank of America Home Loans. Helping you find out what works now.

Stacey: We all know that problems with the home can mean big bucks in repairs. And despite our best efforts, we may not be able to identify these problems ourselves. That's why, particularly, when buying or selling a home, its critical to have a home inspection.

Narrator: Simply put, a home inspection is an examination and assessment of the condition of the home. Here's how it works. Usually, a real estate agent works with a seller to determine an asking price for the home. A potential buyer then comes along and makes an offer. At that point, the buyer then brings in an inspector to examine the condition of the home.

Kenny: Hi, I'm Kenny Rhodes and I'm a licensed home inspector. My job as a professional home inspector is to evaluate a home's mechanical systems, structural integrity and safety items, and deliver that information to my client. Basically, I'm looking for defects that the layman may not necessarily notice. It's my job to find them, and I'll make certain that I do.

Narrator: Prepare yourself. This is going to be a very thorough process.

Stacey: Whoever brings in the inspector, in most cases the buyer, tags along for the whole thing. For an average house, this investigation typically takes 3 to 4 hours.

Kenny: Hey Stacey, you ready to go up in the attic?

Stacey: Yep, you lead the way.

Kenny: Let's go.

Stacey: So how does it look up there?

Kenny: So the thing we're looking for up here is insulation value. The insulation is about 6 inches of fiberglass, which really isn't that bad. However, new construction would have 10 inches, and that's going to have a big impact in the long-term for your heating and cooling costs. I'm also looking around for any signs of leakage. I'm not seeing any leaks.

Stacey: So I get the feeling that this isn't a pass-fail examination.

Kenny: It really isn't pass-fail. It's the conditions that are currently observable, and a lot of times I make suggestions, which means 'get to it when you can,' and also recommendations – which is a much more powerful way of saying you need to do this and that.

Narrator: For an average home, the basic home inspection can run $300 to $400. Keep in mind that an inspection is not actually required by law, and the inspector is not a code official who has to report his findings to the local municipality. However, it's strongly recommended that a buyer get this done. I mean, who wouldn't want to know exactly what he's buying?

Kenny: Ready to go downstairs and look at the basement?

Narrator: With such a thorough examination at hand, you may be wondering about how to make sure you have the right person for the job.

Stacey: How do you recommend a buyer find the right professional?

Kenny: Well, there are many ways to do that and the first source is probably your Realtor. Start with them, and then you'll want to get your candidate on the phone and get a feel for them. Do they sound knowledgeable? There are national organizations that one can belong to. Most states have modeled their standards against those organizations. So look at Realtors, interview your candidates, look at these national organizations, and ask a friend who's recently bought a house.

Narrator: So what happens when the day is through? The inspector compiles the data, and in a day or two, the report is submitted to the buyer, or whoever commissioned the job.

Stacey: So remember, with a good home inspection, you should have the right information to decide what your next move should be.

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