Saturday, August 15, 2009

First-Time Home Buyer? Get an Inspection

If you are considering buying a house to take advantage of first-time home buyer tax credits, the credit is available to any taxpayer who has not owned another principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase to deduct the lesser of $8,000 or 10% of the purchasing price of their home if they purchase before Dec. 1, 2009. To be sure that a home sale is closed in plenty of time to be eligible, prospective buyers should be finalizing their selections and making offers in the next few weeks, but don't let the time crunch stop you from doing your due diligence and getting an inspection done.

An inspection insures agains unpleasant surprises and unexpected repairs. No matter if a home is a new build, foreclosure, or seemingly well-maintained older home, there could be small--or big issues that you would want to address before finanlizing the sale.

A standard home inspector’s report will cover:

--> The heating system
--> Central air conditioning system
--> Interior plumbing and electrical systems
--> The roof, attic and visible insulation
--> Walls
--> Ceilings
--> Floors
--> Windows and doors
--> The foundation, basement and structural components.

Buyers often request to have their offer be contingent on the findings of a home inspection, and have it stated in the contract. In some cases, home buyers also may be able to renegotiate their offers because of the results of the home inspection.

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