When you feel a pain in your stomach you can try to self-diagnose on WebMD OR you can go to a doctor and get the proper treatment.
When your computer crashes you can use google (on your friends’ PC) to determine the cause OR you can call that tech guru that used to work for Apple to get you back up and running.
And, when your basement is flooded by a broken pipe you can run down to the local hardware store and throw on your rain boots OR you can hire a licensed plumber to fix it right.
In each case, you can rely on your limited abilities to solve a complex problem. Some of us are just stubborn enough, or know just enough to be dangerous, and get away with it. In the short term anyway. The problem is we rarely see the big picture. We may stop the leak but miss the incorrect pipe size that caused increased pressure in the line. We may login after a free download of anti-virus software but miss the hacker back door left open. And, it may have just been the pizza from last night, or it could be an ulcer that the antacid won’t solve.
That is why most of end up with a professional in the end. We either come to that point with the recognition that we are incapable of permanently fixing it, or we were smart enough to know our limitations in the beginning (usually the cheaper option by the way).
So, when it comes to purchasing a home, you also have a choice. Your purchase decision can be based on your realtor-directed tour that shines a light on the highlights and avoids the unsightly dark corners.
Your decision can be based on your brother-in-law contractor to wander through and point out all the things he would have done differently if he had built the place.
Your decision can be based on your own limited knowledge of construction since, no offense, you are probably a competent banker/nurse/manager/bike mechanic and not a professional in the building industry.
OR, your decision can be based on an unbiased review of the home because you chose to hire a professional home inspector. And not just anybody who claims to be an inspector but a trained and certified inspector with experience. You want, no you need, an objective evaluation of the home you are going to purchase. You have chosen this home over all others primarily on the superficial things you can see (again, no offense); The kitchen countertops. The size of the master bedroom closet. The curb appeal. The school district.
I am willing to bet you did not choose it based on the amount of insulation. The integrity of the structure. The efficiency of the windows. The longevity of the mechanical systems. Or the performance of the HVAC system. But these are things that will determine how much you enjoy, and ultimately how much you will spend on, your new home. Don’t leave it up to a casual glance when a thorough evaluation is what is required. Hire an inspector. A good one. Trust them and buy with confidence.
By James Childre, 08-09-2016