Have you been thinking about buying a home for you and your family? Are you about to start looking at different houses to find one that you think you'll like? Before you sign any papers actually agreeing to purchase a home, you'll have to get the house appraised according to your lender's desires. While you might think that this is sufficient to know whether or not you should be buying a particular home, this isn't necessarily so.
You should consider getting an electrician in to check out the house as well, in addition to the required appraisal. While the appraisal may catch a number of flaws, some of the biggest reasons why you should also pay for an inspection by an electrical professional include the following.
1. Outdated wiring: The electrical codes, which are the laws that state what is and is not allowed in regards to wiring, change all the time. Wiring practices that were considered safe and standard a couple of decades ago may now be considered outdated and dangerous. Electrical contractors must continually study in order to stay up to date on local and national laws. Because of this, appraisers are unlikely to know whether wiring is outdated and needs to be changed as soon as possible or if it is older but safe.
2. DIY wiring: Messing around with your electrical system is something that should only be done by licensed electrical contractors, but many homeowners do it anyway under the theory that it can't be that bad if it seems to do the job. Unfortunately, improper wiring can eventually result in an electrical fire. Shoddy electrical work isn't always something that the average non-electrician is going to be able to spot at a glance, which is why you need to get a professional in for a thorough inspection.
3. Repair estimate: It's sometimes easy to look at a snarl of wiring and guess that it's an issue that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. It's another thing to know exactly how much the fix is going to cost. In some instances, the cost may be much more than you would have expected.
It's not uncommon to buy a home with an issue and expect to have to pay a few hundred on repairs, only to be told by various electrical contractors that it's actually going to take a few thousand dollars to fix. If you want to spend this money on your dream home, that's perfectly fine. But you should be going into the buying process with eyes wide open, knowing what to expect to get the house in good shape.