One of the most stress-filled purchases a person can makes involves real estate.  When a suitable home has been found – that is, “suitable” by mere appearances – there are still a host of issues, both financially as well as structurally, that will come into play before the customer can finally take ownership of the property.

People who report their experiences (online) with the home buying process are saying, with increasing frequency, it is best to have the home you are considering inspected and do it sooner rather than later in the home buying process.

Here are six conditions that may exist in a house that you don’t want to discover after you’ve finalized your purchase:

  • Pests, especially termites, that could weaken the structure or present health concerns.
  • Faulty wiring systems and other hazardous electrical issues.
  • Structural deficiencies that will be expensive to fix later. One example might be floors sagging.
  • Mold discovered beneath the surface in multiple locations within the home.
  • Leaks in the outer shell, in wall structures or in the roof -allowing moisture to enter.
  • Problems in the heating, cooling systems, or plumbing.

There are more situations that a person should ask the seller about, and plan to cover when a home inspection is scheduled.  However, these six concerns form over 90 percent of the problems which occur as consumers move toward their purchase.

Again, all home buyers should consider getting an inspector involved EARLY in the process and not wait. By putting sentimentality aside, and waiting for a clean report, the buyer can be rest assured that the infrastructure and other vital concerns are all in good shape before finalizing the deal.  You don’t want to experience buyer’s remorse when so much money is being invested.  In most cases the inspection will occur when the house is considered in “escrow,” that is, the period of time that begins right after the purchase agreement has been signed.  The end of this period is considered the actual closing date.

In cases of short sales, auctions, or foreclosures, the inspection process may come at a very different time in the sales process.  The rule of thumb for all home buyers is to involve a home inspector as soon as the process will allow.  Everyone deserves to know exactly what he or she is getting into.  Inspections are meant to give you a full picture regarding the condition of a prospective purchase.

If you happen to be selling a home, it certainly cannot hurt the process to have a printed report from a home inspection provider so the prospective buyer can see for himself -and feel assured about -the total condition of the home being considered.  This strategy provides a good marketing tool to help you sell your home more quickly.

Finally, if the home you are living in has reached a certain age, is showing some defects in different areas (new leaks are appearing, for example), then it may be time for you to have the condition of your home examined by an expert.  Some problems call for a trained professional to assess.  Hence, if your home is older, calling in an inspection team is always a smart idea.