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Going, Going, Gone – The Key to Peace of Mind before Bidding on Properties

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, June 16, 2009-Buying a home is one of the most significant decisions, as well as one of the biggest investments, a home buyer will ever make. With home prices down around the country, mortgage rates at record-level lows, an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and a surge in home auctions, buyers must be more educated than ever in going through the home-buying process. Home buyers are looking for peace of mind right now, and Pillar To Post’s home inspections give prospective buyers just that.

According to the Associated Press, home auctions have surged 47% since 2003, which opens the door to homeowners interested in buying a home at a bargain price.

“There is a huge inventory of homes on the market right now, which is great for buyers, but it should still be ‘buyer beware,’” says Trevor Welby-Solomon, Pillar To Post’s vice president, Technical Training, Support and Development. Home buyers must be cautious, because homes sold at auction are sold ‘as is;’ therefore, professional home inspections are a crucial element in the bidding process.

With the economic climate we are experiencing today, it is easy for buyers to say that money is tight and they don’t want to spend the $350-$450 it costs to get a home inspection, but Welby-Solomon says the exact opposite is true.

“Since credit is tight and home values have dropped, it is almost impossible to go back to the lender or bank and further define a line of credit to fix items within the home once you move in,” he says. Home inspections focus on the structural element or systems of the home and look closely at items regarding the health and safety of the occupants. “In addition to checking the major structural items within the home, home inspections also cover more common elements, such as the condition of the roof covering, leaks in the basement and the major mechanical systems (heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing).

“Home inspections take away the emotional aspect of the transaction as well as provide prospective buyers with an objective, third-party opinion of the building,” says Welby-Solomon, and are especially important for buyers looking to purchase a home through an auction.

“Home inspections are used to better educate buyers about their potential purchase and whether the price of the home is actually the final cost,” he says. While it may be appealing for buyers to bid low on a home, it is a good idea to have a sense of what your final expenditure will be once the home is yours.

“Since joining Pillar To Post in 1994, home buyers and sellers’ attitudes toward home inspections have changed completely,” says Welby-Solomon. “There is a much greater awareness of the value of a home inspection, and a lot of this has come about as younger buyers are coming into the marketplace.” As younger buyers are more research- and information-oriented, they are looking for more value and want to be more educated and informed in making decisions, he says.

While there are numerous good deals to be found in today’s market, home inspections give buyers peace of mind before actually buying the property.

“Don’t be afraid to ask if you may bring a third party with you to do a walk-through of the home before the auction starts,” says Welby-Solomon. “Home inspections allow prospective buyers to not walk blindly into a home auction and end up with a money trap that you have to keep throwing money into after purchasing.”

For more information, please visit www.pillartopost.com.

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