Home inspections could hold key to housing market recovery

Would you ever purchase a car without insisting that a professional mechanic thoroughly inspect the vehicle's engine, brakes and other key components? Most would insist upon an inspection, so why shouldn't homes be treated the same way before they are bought?

We devote much of this blog's reporting to home energy issues, primarily because of the money homeowners can save if they use an energy audit to find problem areas in their dwellings. Long before a consumer ever settles down in a new home, though, a home inspection could save him or her even more money by revealing potentially costly repairs before the ink has dried on a purchase agreement and left them responsible for fixing these problems.

A home inspection by a qualified Washington, D.C. home inspector can also go a long way toward ensuring buyers are comfortable with their purchases, especially if these properties are distressed. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recently commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a poll on this very topic, and the results were overwhelming slanted in one direction.

About 84 percent of consumers who responded to the survey said that they considered home inspections to be a necessary component of the purchasing process, not an optional luxury. Similarly, 88 percent said that a home inspection makes them more confident about a property purchase, which is even more critical given the depressed state of home sales over the last few years.

"It is encouraging to learn having a home inspection increases homebuyer confidence," said ASHI president Marvin Goldstein said in a press release. "We look forward to prospective buyers acting on the security brought by home inspections to breathe even more life into the recovering housing market."

Whether you already own a home or you are considering purchasing one, do not forget to contact a certified home inspector in the Tri-State area well in advance of a sale.