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When should I get a home inspection?

Home inspector Jim Jacobs of Home Sweet Home

Home inspector Jim Jacobs of Home Sweet Home Inspections, under a back deck, during the inspection of a home in Stony Brook on Tuesday, March 21, 2000. The homeowners asked that their name or address not be used. (Newsday Photo by John Paraskevas) Credit: NEWSDAY/John Paraskevas

At what point do I have to hire someone to perform a home inspection if I’m interested in buying a house? 

“Before signing the contract of sale, you should hire a home inspector or engineer  look over the house. They will check all facets of the house: the plumbing, heating and electrical systems, roof, basement, boiler and appliances,” says Daniel Krimmer a real estate attorney at Class Abstract Services, Inc. in Mineola.

The final report should give an overview of what expenses you will incur, what expenses to expect in the near future and problems that can be put off to the distant future.

Knowing how much money will be needed to repair or replace items in the house to the new owner’s satisfaction may very well play a major part in how much of a mortgage the purchaser will look to obtain, explains Krimmer. “The engineer’s report may also be used as a negotiating tool to attempt to get the seller to make concessions and even lower the purchase price,” he says.

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