Finally, after a long search, you’ve found the home of your dreams as a first time home buyer! It’s everything you have on your wishlist. But do you know that you’re required as a prospective homebuyer to hire a qualified, professional Home Inspector? It may be everything you want, and it may look perfect to your untrained eyes, but you could be buying into a neverending money pit. So before bidding on it, make your offer conditional upon a complete inspection or get that inspection completed well in advance, before making an offer on the property. Your first home is the most important financial investment that you’ll make in your lifetime. So it’s vital to invest the time and money in having your new home inspected from its foundation to its roof for all hidden and potentially costly problems that can arise when purchasing a home.
FINDING A HOME INSPECTOR
Often people will rely exclusively on referrals for a home inspector from friends, neighbors, and family members. Or possibly, their broker can refer a reliable, certified Home Inspector to them. Every Home Inspector is required by law to have the correct, and most current certifications in many states. For states that don’t require licensing or accreditations, membership in trade organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors can assure you about an inspector’s level of professionalism, and years of experience. Interview a few inspectors before hiring one. Ask about their years of experience and whether they are familiar with the type of home that you intend to purchase. Find out precisely what will be in the inspection and final report. Be sure that the report includes all of the following items:
Necessary inspection can give you a basic idea of a house’s overall general condition; it may not reveal all hidden problems such as pests, mold, or asbestos. To identify those types of issues, a certified Wood Destroying Insect Inspection can identify termites, carpenter ants, and other invasive insect pests. You’ll need additional licensed inspectors to expose flaws in areas that are below ground or inaccessible to the inspector, like wells and septic tanks. Although you may live in a state where it’s optional, it’s a vital safeguard to protect the value of your future home.
What You Should and Should Not Do During a Housing Inspection
It’s critically important to be present during the inspection. A good Inspector should be willing to allow you to shadow them around the premises and to answer your questions regarding the residence. If for some reason, you’re unable to be there personally during the inspection, arrange to meet to review the housing inspection report in detail. At all cost, avoid getting in the Inspector’s way and do not attempt to “inspect” the home during this process as it may interfere with the inspector’s efforts to complete a thorough inspection. Also, consider the season that you’re having the home inspected in versus how it will perform in other seasons such as spring and winter.
Your Home’s Report Card
Upon the completion of the evaluation, you’ll be given a report of its findings. It’s customary when there are lots of deficiencies noted. Home inspections can be very detailed, often including between 50 and 100 issues. But thankfully, most of them are relatively small.
The report should include information about the seriousness of each listed problem, plus financial estimates on how much it would cost to fix each issue that has been itemized. Ask the inspector for clarifications on each concern if you are unclear about the suggested itemized repair.
If the inspection discovers more problems than you’d prepared to deal with, you have the option of declining the purchase of the home or offering to negotiate with the seller to make the repairs or lower the price of the property. If the current condition of the home is satisfactory or the state it will be in, after the seller agrees to the terms of your inspection negotiations, you can move into your new home assured with the peace of mind knowing that your new home doesn’t have critical repair issues that could be costly in the future.