Buying Your Home - Home Inspections & Warranties
Do I need a home inspection?
Yes. It isn't required, but buying a home "as is" is a very risky
proposition and First American Real Estate, Inc. will strongly encourage you to have a home inspection. Major repairs on homes can amount to thousands of dollars.
Plumbing, electrical and roof problems represent significant and complex systems
that are expensive to fix.
Are home inspectors required to get a license?
No, they are not. Neither the federal government nor the state of Colorado require a license for anyone who wants to be a home inspector. Children, blind people, or even psychics who claim to be able to "sense" if a home is good or not, can all be home inspectors. It is best to hire someone who is certified through a legitimate organization such as American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or and International National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (Inter-NACHI).
How do I find a home inspector?
We have several qualified, certified, and experienced home inspectors to refer you to. But please feel free to find your own trusted inspector. Inspectors are listed in the yellow pages. You can ask for referrals
from friends. Ask for their credentials, such as contractor's license or
engineering certificate. Also, check out their references.
How do I
find a home inspector?
In order to find a home inspector, Dian Hymer,
author of "Buying and Selling a Home A Complete Guide," Chronicle Books, San
Francisco; 1994, advises looking for someone with demonstrable qualifications.
"Ideally, the general inspector you select should be either an engineer, an
architect, or a contractor. When possible, hire an inspector who belongs to one
of the home inspection trade organizations."
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has developed formal
inspection guidelines and a professional code of ethics for its members.
Membership to ASHI is not automatic; proven field experience and technical
knowledge of structures and their various systems and appliances are a
prerequisite. One can usually find an inspector by looking in the phone book or
by inquiring at a real estate office or sometimes at an area Realtor
association. Rates for the service vary greatly. Many inspectors charge about
$400, but costs go up with the scope of the inspection.
What's a home inspection?
A home inspection is when a paid
professional inspector -- often a contractor or an engineer -- inspects the
home, searching for defects or other problems that might plague the owner later
on. They usually represent the buyer and or paid by the buyer. The inspection
usually takes place after a purchase contract between buyer and seller has been
What's inspected during a home inspection?
A home inspection may or may not include certain aspects or items, so be sure to clarify with your home inspector on what will be inspected and what will not. Most home inspections cover the water heater, furnace, central AC (unless it's winter), water pressure, faucets, light fixtures, electrical outlets, and the roof. However, not all inspectors enter the attic or crawl space. Most home inspections do not cover an outside irrigation system (automatic sprinklers), hot tubs, radon measurements, or termite/pests inspections.
What's a home warranty?
You can purchase a home warranty for the property that covers some of the expense of repairing or replacing certain features of a home. Coverages are typically $300-$500 and must be renewed annually for coverage to continue. If something stops working and you have a warranty, you call the warranty company, they dispatch a technician, charge you a fee of $50-$150, and will repair or replace the item up to a certain dollar amount. For example, a furnace may cost $3,000 to replace and the warranty company may cover er up to $1,800 of that cost. Each company is different in their coverages and fee structures, so be sure to interview them and know what you are buying.