Home inspections are one of those necessary items to check off your to-do list when purchasing a home. If you’ve never gone through the process before, here are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate the home buying and inspection process.
Why You Should Hire a Professional Home Inspector
Before purchasing any home for sale, it’s prudent to have a home inspection to protect you from making a final decision on a property that could be more of financial liability or potential health-related liability than you planned.
Choosing a home inspector is a vital part of the buying process. An inspection makes sure you’re aware of any issues with the property prior to closing on it. Even though a home inspector can only inspect what can be seen (known as a patent defect), they will be able to point out any health and safety issues, as well as other issues that may be a concern when purchasing the property.
How to Find and Choose a Professional Home Inspector
It is important to do your due diligence when researching a home inspector. Look at those who specialize and are familiar with the type of home you are purchasing. Also, look to see their reviews, professional designations and experience.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has a Find An Inspector tool, as does the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). These association websites are also a good way to check referrals you might see from others, as these sites have certification programs and a code of ethics for members. You could also consult the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) website.
What to Look for in a Home Inspection Report
What is important to one person in a home inspection may differ from another. Make sure you communicate with your real estate agent and have them guide you through things that may be of concern to you, whether it is health and safety, cosmetic, or about the age and remaining lifespan of certain items like a roof or HVAC.
There are different tests that can be completed during an inspection like inspecting crawl spaces, testing appliances, checking water pressure and more. Some inspectors do them on-site or may refer you to a certified company that specializes in a particular industry.
Don’t Forget to Ask the Seller About the Property Too
Some people forget this step, but we recommend you take the opportunity to gather as much information from the seller during their time of ownership as you can. This can be included in the seller’s disclosure, but don’t be nervous to ask and gather additional information on upgrades, additions to the home, age of systems (HVAC, roof, water lines etc.), along with what items may be left in the house and what items the seller intends to take. Be specific in your questions.
Learn the house like it’s your friend and don’t forget that “time is of the essence.” And, of course, make sure to have all inspections completed within the terms of your contract!
Questions, comments or need help purchasing your next home? Please feel free to reach out to me.
Lauren Alexander, Realtor/CAO Adams Realtors