Congratulations! After doing a lot of research in order to find the right property for your needs and budget, you’ve finally struck gold and found one that’s just perfect! However, after you have called everyone you know in order to give them the big news, it’s time to calm down and look at your house with different eyes.
To make sure the deal is as sweet as it looks, you need to hire a home inspector to inspect the house and confirm whether this is a great deal or not. If this is the first time you’re using one such service, then have no worries, since below we’re going to take a closer look at some of the things you should know when it comes to home inspections.
1. A house inspection is optional
One thing you should know about home inspections is that they are not mandatory, but are indeed necessary. Most people wanting to buy a house will certainly stumble upon one or more that look exactly the way they pictured their perfect home, but the truth is that in most cases, such deals do come with many problems.
To ensure your house has no hidden problems that will have you spending thousands of dollars afterwards to repair them, you should hire a home inspector to inspect it. He’ll confirm whether the property is in good shape and what kind of repairs (if any) it may require and the amount those repairs stack up to.
2. You’re the one who is responsible for the home inspection
It is not the seller, but actually the buyer who is responsible for inspecting a house before purchasing it. So before you decide to sign the papers, it’s best not to hurry and take your time to look for an experienced and reliable home inspector.
You have to do a bit of research to ensure you hire the right one, but make sure that you can also afford to hire him. In general, home inspections can cost anywhere between 300 and 600 dollars or even more, depending on how large the property is.
3. The house inspector should be certified
A contractor and a home inspector are definitely not the same thing. Sure, contractors do know how to fix many home maintenance issues, but a home inspector is properly trained on identifying these issues without missing a single one of them. While there are home inspectors in every country, you need to make sure that the one you hire is certified.
If he is certified, then it means he is qualified to perform home inspections and can offer you a full and accurate report on every little problem your house has. But if you don’t know how to find a home inspector, you’d better ask your realtor about where to start. In most cases, he’s going to offer you some pretty great points on where you can find the right one.
4. What does a home inspection cover?
If you want, you can think of home inspections like a visit to your doctor. The doctor will take a look at various components of your body including your blood pressure, your reflexes, your medical history and so on in order to assess your current health status.
When it comes to home inspectors, they work in the same way. Keep in mind that by hiring a qualified home inspector, you should expect him to check the following about your home:
Any visible insulation and the attic.
The condition of your ceilings, walls and floors.
The condition of the door frames and the doors.
The condition of the windows.
The cooling and heating systems.
The interior electrical systems.
The interior plumbing systems.
Any extra structural components.
The basement and the foundation.
Don’t forget that prior to hiring a home inspector, you should ask him about what he’s going to cover in his home inspection.
5. What does the inspection cover?
It’s important to be aware of the fact that there’s no single inspection out there which is going to cover literally every aspect of your property. Using the same doctor analogy, you should know that certain issues require a referral to a specialist who can offer you a more in-depth examination. With that in mind, below you can find a list of some of the areas that aren’t generally covered by the home inspection:
Sheds, walls or extra structures that are separated from the main property.
Chimney or roof repairs.
Inside the walls.
Remember that even though these things aren’t included in the home inspection, it doesn’t mean they can’t be inspected.
6. You can attend inspections
It’s recommended that you do attend your home inspection in order to learn more about the problems your property has. At the same time, this is also a great opportunity for you to ask the inspector questions and learn valuable things about the overall condition of your house. Also, remember that the inspector doesn’t make any repairs, he just inspects the house.
7. The inspector should give you an inspection report
After the home inspection is done, the home inspector should offer you a report where everything he has discovered about the property is written down. The report needs to include pictures of the damaged areas, too. Those working with real estate agents should know that the report generally reaches him automatically, but you should also request a copy of it as well.
8. You can negotiate the repairs after the inspection is done
After the inspection is over, you’ll be able to negotiate who is going to cover for the repairs of the property. In general, there are 3 types of outcomes to these negotiations: the repairs can be made by you, the seller can credit you the money for making the repairs or the seller is going to make the repairs himself prior to settlement.
9. You can easily walk away after the inspection
If the inspection has uncovered something really bad about the home, then you can just walk away from the sale. However, it could be that you and the seller just can’t reach an agreement in regards to who is going to foot the bill for the repairs. Well, if that’s the case, then your main advantage as a buyer is that you can just walk away. Just make sure that you respond to the seller within the inspection timeframe and come up with a legitimate reason as to why you don’t want to buy the house.
10. Gather paperwork for completed repairs
After the negotiations are over, you and the seller are going to have a long list of repairs that have to be paid for and completed. While it may be tempting to cut corners, don’t try to call your friends or make the repairs yourself. Hire a professional, since title and mortgage companies will request the invoices and repair estimates as proof. If you don’t have them, then they won’t be able to grant you the deed to your new home.
No matter if you plan on buying or selling a house, hiring a home inspector to inspect it is mandatory if you want to sell it fast and have no unpleasant surprises about it later on. With a bit of patience and a lot of research, finding the right one is going to be a breeze!