You’ve found the perfect home. Great location, beautiful features, exactly what you were looking for. The contract has been drawn up and signed, but there’s one thing left before you move in: the home inspection. It may feel like just another step in the process, but a home inspection is a buyer’s best friend. Even experienced homeowners can’t spot every problem in a house, but licensed inspectors are trained to look more closely. Here are a few items to keep in mind when getting ready for the home inspection.
Not All Home Inspections Are Alike
There are many types of home inspectors, some who specialize in certains areas, or who only do interior or exterior. It’s important to know ahead of time what a home inspector will cover. You want to find someone who can look at both the exterior and the interior. Outside a home inspector should be looking at the roof, the walls and foundation to identify anything that could point to structural problems. Inside, an inspector will look at wiring, heating, cooling and plumbing systems, attics and basements, fireplaces, appliances to find any functional or safety problems.
What Needs Fixed
After the home inspection is complete, you will receive a report of all the home inspector’s findings. No home is perfect, even if it feels that way, so don’t be surprised if there are some problem areas. A home inspection report will generally be divided into sections, such as structural, plumbing, electrical, with a list of inspected elements and their condition. Many inspectors will include photos of any issues. They may suggest repairs or advise you to consult a specialist. It could be the case that the problems found are minor and can be easily fixed after you move in. However, sometimes bigger, and unexpected, problems are found.
Who Pays for Problems
Each purchase agreement or contract is different. A well written contract will provide the buyer with an option to withdraw should a major issue, or issues, be uncovered during inspection. You may find a seller willing negotiate, offering to have the problems fixed or reducing the price. Or you may decide that the problems are more than you’re willing to deal with at all. Either way, a home inspection in invaluable in the information it can provide you with.
How to Choose a Home Inspector
There are many home inspectors to choose from out there. And as we mentioned, not all of them are going to fit your needs. In many places, home inspectors need to be licensed as well. Take a look online to see reviews, or ask family or friends for recommendations. If you’ve been working with an experienced realtor, they should be able to refer you to a qualified inspector. As a buyer, it’s a good idea to hire the home inspector yourself. A seller may offer to pay for the home inspection, but it could be to their advantage to choose a particular company .
Home inspection is a crucial aspect to buying a home. Owning a home is a large investment, of money, yes, but also of time. A thorough inspection arms you with the knowledge of what to expect throughout your time in a home.