Many homes on the market today are distressed properties -- foreclosures and short sales -- and that only increases the importance of good inspections, according to David Tamny, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors.
"The owners usually didn't have the money to keep up these homes," he said. "There's a lot of deferred maintenance."
A home inspection can find problems with the foundation, electrical, plumbing, roof, attic insulation, and heating and air conditioning. In some states, separate licensed inspectors offer mold or termite inspections.
Often homebuyers, who may be strapped for cash, stint on inspections and look for the cheapest way to go. That can lead to disaster.
"The cost of repairs far exceeds the cost of inspection," said Tamny.
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