A home inspection is one of the most crucial steps on the path to old-house ownership. Here’s how to use it to determine if you should take the plunge on that fixer-upper.
By Jane Powell
|Buyer beware: What looks like a dream house from a distance could turn out to be riddled with problems upon closer inspection. Lori Martin photo
You’ve taken the leap and made an offer on an old house, and the seller has accepted it. Caught between euphoria and dread, you have only a few short weeks to reassure yourself that it’s the right house for you—and make sure you haven’t agreed to sink your life savings into a proverbial money pit.
And while you need to investigate the neighborhood, the zoning, the schools, and other concerns, the biggest piece of what the real estate people call “due diligence” will be the physical inspection of the house. Much of your decision on whether to go ahead with the sale, and a large part of your plans for fixing the house after you buy it, will be based on this document.