If you’re buying or selling a home, getting an inspection could save you a lot of trouble. Knowing what sort of potential problems a home might have before entering into a transaction will be a top factor in your decision process. Also, it can give everyone involved more peace of mind during the final stages of the homebuying process. This post will give you insight into what makes a good inspection, and what you can reasonably expect (or not expect) from one.
What is a home inspection?
First of all, an inspection is not an appraisal. Home inspectors usually determine the condition of a given structure, identifying possible problems along the way. They examine the most impactful components of the home: structure, exterior, interior, roof, plumbing, electrical, heat/AC, and ventilation. Sometimes inspections include other areas as well, like pests and hazardous materials. It’s to your advantage to ask your inspector plenty of questions.
Because your inspection is not an appraisal, do not expect to get an idea of the value of the property you’re buying or selling. This procedure is designed to help you understand problems and address them. Some municipalities do not allow inspectors to give home-buying advice.
Preparing for your inspection
The home inspector you hire should have the qualifications to be inspecting in the first place. Just like hiring any contractor to work on your home, do your research. Make sure you ask the following questions:
- How long have you been inspecting homes?
- What was your job before you became an inspector? (Contractor or builder is usually a good sign.)
- What are your relevant qualifications and certifications?
Once you’ve gotten satisfactory answers and decided what inspector you’re going to move forward with, don’t hesitate to accompany them while they do the inspection (whether you’re the buyer or seller). If you’re selling the home, give the inspector access to every room and storage space. You can’t expect a thorough inspection if areas are blocked or locked.
What to do with your inspection results
Now that you’ve got an inspection under your belt, you can take steps to solve any problems the inspector found, or move forward with a clean bill of health.
Buyers: Remember a home inspection doesn’t give you the right to give the seller a laundry list of things to fix before you’ll buy their home. Sometimes, you have to assume some of that burden yourself. But serious issues could sometimes be enough reason to walk away. Make sure you pay close attention and don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of.
Does all this talk of home inspection get you excited about buying a home of your own? First Option can help you start down that path. Get in touch with us, or ask questions on Twitter or Facebook. We’re always standing by to help out.