Inexperienced new homeowners are benefiting from the knowledge of professional home inspectors. With a housing market flooded with foreclosures, coupled with incentive programs for purchasing these homes, an inspection report has never been more important. "Probably 85% of the inspections I perform are on foreclosed homes for first time home buyers", said Bill Meyer, owner of Meyer Home Inspection, located in northern Oakland County.
Home buyer programs, such as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Initiative and the Federal Government’s $8000.00 tax incentives are fueling a surge in foreclosed properties sales. As these first time home buyers plunge into home ownership, their inexperience may get the best of them. “I approach a home inspection as a learning tool for these purchasers. Many are young and have no experience with any type of building maintenance. I take the time to educate them on common issues that arise in home ownership. Foreclosed homes are often in worse condition than your average home that is on the market, many have been improperly winterized, creating an array of headaches for any purchaser”.
Choosing an effective home inspector can be a challenge. The state of Michigan does not require a home inspector to be licensed. “Essentially, anyone can print off a business card and claim to be a home inspector. First and foremost, they should be certified by a nationally recognized organization, such as InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors), secondly, ask about qualifications. For instance, I am a State of Michigan Licensed Builder, a Journeyman Plumber and an EPA Certified Universal Technician”.
Many of these homes have water damage issues, or some other home hazard. Make sure your home inspector is qualified to do home hazard testing. At Meyer Home Inspection, we routinely test for Black Mold, Radon Gas (which is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States), and well water testing (some areas of Oakland County have wells with a high rate of Arsenic in the ground water). All testing is done at an independent lab, and the results are delivered directly to the prospective purchaser.
One final note to potential first time home buyers, be sure to write your purchase agreement offer “contingent on a satisfactory home inspection and home hazard testing.” This clause offers a safety net in case the home is too badly damaged. For more information on home inspections, visit our website, , or email Bill at .