Everything You Need To Know About Home Inspections
Getting a home inspection is an important part of the home buying process. Finding the right inspector, asking questions during the inspection and following up on problems that the inspector identifies can help new home owners get the right home for their needs with the peace of mind knowing that there aren't any huge potential risks lurking unseen in the home.
Find a Good Home Inspector
A real estate agent can recommend a home inspector, or one can be sought out by the buyer. Either way, an experienced home inspector should have an established business and references. Consider two or three home inspectors in your area before settling on one. Check the references provided and ask questions such as:
- Were you satisfied with the job the home inspector performed?
- Have you identified problems with the house since you’ve moved in?
- Would you recommend this home inspector?
Asking Questions Can Help You Understand
The home inspector will likely talk through the home inspection, pointing out small problems and observations as they go along. Home buyers are welcome and encouraged to ask questions during the inspection. Asking questions about the findings can help you understand the home inspector’s comments. Questions to ask during the inspection include:
- What would you do to fix this?
- Would buy a house with this problem?
- How severe is this problem?
- Is the house livable with this problem?
Asking these questions can help you gauge the severity of an issue and can also help you decide for yourself whether or not the house you want to buy is right for your needs.
Your Inspector Should Provide a Written Report
While a verbal report is helpful, the written report will provide concrete information that the homebuyer can act upon. When looking for a home inspector, ask them if there will be a written report when the inspection is over and find out whether or not that report will include pictures or other documentation.
Know What the Inspection Doesn't Cover
Most home inspectors will only inspect what is visible and will leave out anything that is not visible. Termites and mold can be an example of problems that may not be covered in the inspection. Find out in advance what is not covered during the home inspection, then find out how common those problems are in the area where you would like to buy. Get separate inspections if necessary.
A Home Inspection is Not a Guarantee
Home inspections are not perfect. A home inspector will not be able to see all the problems that are occurring in the house you would like to buy. A good home inspector will know where to look for problems, but this is not a foolproof system.
The best way to ensure that the home is in good condition is to be present for the inspection, ask good questions, get follow up inspections and get quotes for repairs that are identified during the inspection. This will help you understand the full extent of the problem.
Work With a Real Estate Agent
Working with a real estate agent during the home buying process can help to determine whether or not a home is a good match. If the home inspection turns up problems with the house, the agent can help resolve those problems with the seller to ensure that the house is the one best suited to a buyer's needs.