Save Your Big Investment From Big Trouble

For six years, Sydney Walters wondered why his home was so hot in summer and so cold in winter. And why his family developed allergies and asthma.

There was a reason for that: When Walters purchased the home from its original owners, he hadn’t hired a home inspector. That home inspection could have revealed that the home’s attic had no insulation – resulting in wild temperature fluctuations and mold.

Buying a home is often the biggest investment a family can make. While you may not want to spend extra money, a home inspection can reveal a host of problems needing repair. Without it, your big investment is vulnerable to big trouble.

According to associations of home builders, a typical home inspection will include examination of a home’s heating and central air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, attic and visible insulation, foundation, and structural components.

It should be done by a certified professional who can spot things an untrained eye may not.

When choosing among home inspectors, be sure to look at their credentials and certifications. They should be members of a professional association of home inspectors.

The cost of a home inspection varies and can be based on such factors as the size and age of the home.

While incurring an additional cost during the home buying process is frustrating, it can save you thousands of dollars by alerting you to areas of concern and give you much needed peace of mind that your big investment won’t cause you big trouble.

Housing Sector Still Contributing in a Big Way

If you’ve purchased a home recently or intend to purchase soon, you may not realize you’re part of a vast industry that has made a significant contribution to the North American economy.

Consider the following from an April 2012 report by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR):

“Research has consistently shown the importance of the housing sector on the economy and the long-term social and financial benefits to individual homeowners. The economic benefits of the housing market and homeownership are immense and well documented. The housing sector (in the U.S.) directly accounted for approximately 15% of total economic activity in 2011.”

That includes such things as mortgage lending; home construction; real estate agents’ commissions; lawyers’ fees; and home appraisal costs, as well as moving costs. And the sector generates taxes and other forms of income for government at all levels.

But the housing industry also produces economic ripples that extend well beyond the home purchases and related expenses. Real estate transactions create jobs and economic growth in a number of sectors you might not even consider.

A NAR study on the economic impact of real estate in Oregon tells the tale: For every house sold in the state in 2011, there were additional expenditures on consumer items, such as furniture, appliances and paint, totaling $5,234. An Oregon home priced at $229,500 had a total economic impact of $67,003.

When you consider the number of homes sold across North America, you realize the numbers of manufacturers, suppliers of goods and services, tradespeople and sales forces that are dependent on the housing industry. The industry remains one to be reckoned with.

Naysayers notwithstanding, it will continue to be so. Even now with housing markets in flux, homeownership remains ingrained in our psyche. The North American dream is still very much a reality for many people.