Buying an Existing Home
You toured it and fell in love. Well, if not in love, you could see its potential and you're sure it's for you. Now, it's time to figure out if the house is in good shape.
When you buy an existing property you should always have a building inspector check out the property. For a fee, a building inspector will go through the house and identify any aspect of the house which might be problematic or soon in need of repair. This can be part of the 'conditions' that you attach to an offer on the home.
Be sure to look beyond the decorating when you tour a home. While you can always make an offer and have a building inspector give you a report, many of the things that you can see will tell you whether the home is worth the investment of the inspector's fee.
Speak to the real estate agent. They may be able to tell you about some of the property's deficiencies. However, never assume that the agent is an unbiased source of information. Since their commission depends on selling the property they may gloss over items that are significant to you.
If you are fairly sure about a property find a building inspector. Make the inspection part of your conditions on your offer to buy the house. Then pay happily for the inspection. Given the amount of money that you will pay to own the house the fee of the inspector is well worth the investment and it could keep you from making a bad purchase. A bad house purchase would cost you much more in the long run.