DEAR BARRY: We are buying a 50-year-old foreclosure home. Before placing it on the market, the bank had it remodeled by a licensed contractor, and the work supposedly meets FHA requirements. Is a pre-purchase inspection necessary in this case? If so, should we hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the house, or would a friend who is a building contractor be just as good? –Debbie
DEAR DEBBIE: The fact that the home was remodeled does not minimize the likelihood that defects will be discovered by a qualified inspector. Banks often repair or renovate foreclosed properties, but they typically do their hiring on a tight budget and often do not engage the most qualified people. As for FHA requirements, these are minimal and have little influence on what is likely to be discovered by a competent inspector.