Home inspection critical before buying an inexpensive property

Because many homes are in foreclosure and buying activity has diminished, a considerable number of properties are being sold for rock-bottom prices. If house hunters aren't careful, however, they may wind up purchasing a residence that's in need of significant repair.

Hiring a licensed home inspector to survey a property can help people avoid this potentially costly error.

"My number-one rule for clients is don't get emotional," said Calvin Johnson, who owns his own home inspection company based in Port St. Lucie, Florida. "Don't fall in love with a house before you buy it and stay objective at all times. I never had a client who was sorry they had a thorough inspection of their home before they bought it."

He added that certified home inspectors will scrutinize a property, making sure the structure of the foundation is in good condition and that there haven't been any bug infestations. Other parts of the home that will be examined include its electrical system, plumbing and ventilation systems.

Just as a home inspector puts a residence under strict scrutiny to make sure it's in good working order, consumers may want to do the same with their credit report. Occasionally, creditors may inadvertently make notations that unfairly lower scores. If this goes unobserved by consumers, it may lead to bad credit and higher interest fees. After all, if hiring a home inspector means you're in the market for a new home, then adding your credit reports to the list of things to be scrutinized is probably a good idea.