Greetings neighbors,

With factors such as the now expired first time home buyers tax credit and historically low mortgage rates, many Americans are being drawn to the housing market and deciding to purchase for the first time. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), almost half (47%) of the homes purchased last year were purchased by first time buyers.

Of course buying a home for the first time can be both exciting and scary. Therefore first time purchasers should do as much research as possible before making that major decision. In addition, one major action that proves to be extremely educational for first time buyers is a professional home inspection. Home inspections provide the potential owner with information regarding the home's systems and can also be used as a tool in negotiating the home's price. Here's a list of things for those who are purchasing for the first time to be aware of during a professional home inspection.

Inspect the Inspector

Make sure you do your homework when searching for a home inspector. You would need to look for someone who possesses accreditation and a superb reputation. Make sure to ask questions such as: How long has the company been in business? It is also a good idea to find out about the inspectors formal training and continued education. You should also verify that the inspector possesses personal liability insurance or "Errors and Omissions" (E&O).

Ask for a sample of the report

You should want to see a sample of the report to verify that the quality is both professional and concise. A good quality report will consist of pictures and details regarding the home's systems and accessible elements. A poorly prepared report will not be taken seriously by the home seller.

Inspect ancillary systems

Because many first time buyers are not fully aware of what inspections are needed, many companies will offer you additional services at a discounted rate. For example, if you're looking to purchase a home with a septic system, a professional company may be able to offer septic system inspections. Termite inspections, mold screening, and water/radon testing are other common inspections offered by professional companies.

Go along on the inspections

Find out if the company will allow you to tag along for the inspection. If a company doesn't agree to this, find another one. Home inspectors can also show the home buyer how to operate different systems of the home and can also provide valuable tips on how to save energy and etc.