Just like trying on clothes or taking a car for a test drive, buying a home comes with a test run, as well. Once you decide you love a house and want to buy – one of the last major steps before finalizing it is the inspection. To be sure you get everything you need from the inspection, here’s what you need to know:
How to Find an Inspector?
There are many different ways to find an inspector, but we highly recommend going off of recommendations from realtors, and trusted family/friends. For referrals from recent homebuyers, choose those that have been in their home for at least 6 months, so they know if anything major popped up that the inspector didn’t catch. We also recommend asking more than one about their backgrounds, and specialties. Buying a historic home? There are inspectors that specialize in that!
First Step, Be There!
Home inspections take 2 to 4 hours depending on the size of the house. You should do everything you can to be there, observe, ask questions, etc. Being there will give you much more information than just receiving the written report after. You want to make sure you get your $300 – $500 worth! Bonus? You can spend any extra time you have measuring and mapping out where you will put everything!
What Gets Inspected:
Home inspections are an inspection on the home and the main appliances and utilities within. Home inspections cover the home’s foundation, basement, and structural components, as well as the windows, doors, floors, roof, and attic. In addition, they will check the HVAC system, interior plumbing, and electrical systems.
What It’s Not:
Home inspectors won’t give you an opinion on whether or not you’re getting a good deal on the home, or whether or not you should continue forward with the buying process. They also won’t give you a pass/fail – just details on the home. Also remember that they have limits on what they can report because it has to be what they can actually see, so they may not know about pests, asbestos, etc.
First, remember that no home is perfect, and there WILL be things marked to take note of – so no need to panic. The bigger deal is deciding what to do with the information you receive. The report will include recommended repairs and replacements. Depending on the cost to repair or replace – we would recommend you decide on the most major ones (especially ones that aren’t quick and cheap fixes) to negotiate on. Having fewer items on your list will help come up with a good solution for both you and the sellers, as opposed to coming with a huge list of small issues.
Feel good about your informed decision with the knowledge you received on your new home!