Buyers, Home Inspections & How to Get the Most from Them
Home inspections are a vital part of the real estate transaction process, from negotiating to understanding the condition of your new home, shouldn't you know how they work?
Here's some essential info on what they entail, but most importantly, how they affect you when buying your home.
Here's What You Should Know
You want to know that the home you are buying is something you will be satisfied with so here are some tips on beginning your home inspector search:
- Get a few references from your real estate agent.
- Look for a company that is bonded and insured (this is a requirement).
- Verify that the inspection company only does inspections – not home repairs and renovations (you want an impartial home inspection report).
- Find out what the inspection includes and how long it takes (what do they actually inspect).
- Get references.
- Verify that you can accompany the inspector while he or she goes through the home.
- Compare the cost of hiring different companies.
- See if you can find an inspector with experience in the type of home you are looking at.
- There are ASHI certified inspectors from respected organizations.
Some findings may have a huge impact on your home life shortly after moving into the home, or cost you money you may not have anticipated. Some questions you may ask after the inspection and upon reviewing the compiled report to help you determine the importance of certain findings:
- Can you explain this to me? Home inspectors should be glad to explain their observations.
- How big a problem is this? You need perspective on what issues are most pressing.
- Do I need an expert to look at this problem? Diagnosing issues sometimes requires more specific expertise.
- Is this problem normal? You want to know if a problem is common in most homes or more unusual.
- Can you advise me on things I should fix when I move into the home? Some problems are better off addressed immediately when you move in.
No home is perfect, after all, there is normal daily wear to our abodes. However, after the home inspection there is a good chance you may need to negotiate some repairs to offset some of your out of pocket costs to address other issues or the downpayment.
Credits Vs. Repairs
You may want to get credit instead of actual repairs, which can be beneficial for your purchase. Credits can be easier for the seller to offer than going through the trouble of getting repairs done. For you, it is more likely that the repairs will be of good quality when you are the one hiring the work to be done.
Ask the home inspector questions to identify major problems, and those that should be dealt with first. Keep in mind the purpose of a home inspection is to identify major structural, mechanical or safety defects.
Be a reasonable buyer
Don’t be the buyer that thinks a home inspection is your opportunity to present a “punch list” of everything wrong with the house. Focus on significant issues that should be repaired.
Some Reasonable Repairs May Include:
- Cosmetic issues
- Repairs under $100
- A window with a failed seal
- Cracks in a basement floor
- Loose fixtures, railings, and similar issues that are simple to fix
- Minor water damage
Keep in mind that not every single problem may be identified during a home inspection, after all, inspectors are human like everyone else. However, structural issues are of high importance so interview inspectors wisely.
Remember to be open minded as a home is an investment that requires money, love, and care to keep up with the demands of making great memories.
Here's to home sweet home!