After months of searching, you’ve found the perfect home. It has a great location, a big backyard where you can barbecue on weekends, and even that chimney you always wanted. But before you put a down payment and commit to something as life-altering as buying a house, a home inspection is still in order. First-time home buyers might not know what to look out for when hiring a home inspection. With them in mind, we’ve prepared a little guide to get them on the right track!
One thing you should know before embarking on a home inspection is that no house is perfect. Inspectors must be very thorough when doing their jobs, and it’s next to impossible to get an issue-free report. However, most things listed will probably be minor problems that are easily fixable at no high cost to you. It’s the big things you should concern yourself with, and the inspector will usually list whatever damage there is along with a generic budget.
But what exactly is going down?
How Do I Choose an Inspector?
Usually, the real estate agent will have a trusted inspector. However, many buyers will prefer finding their own from recommendations from friends and acquaintances to ensure a more objective report. If you don’t know anyone who’s gone through an inspection recently, you can search the database of the American Society of Home Inspectors and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors to find people in your area. Home inspectors aren’t federally regulated, and many states don’t even have certifications for it, so it’s crucial to check candidates through associations like the ones above.
It’s important to remember the inspection will come at your own cost!
What Should I Do on Inspection Day?
We highly recommend that you accompany the inspector when he or she is reviewing the house. Follow them around and ask relevant questions, always trying to stand out of their way and allow them to let them do their job.
If you absolutely can’t go on the inspection, be sure to review the full report with the inspector point by point.
What Will the Inspector Check?
Structural components, foundations, basement (if applicable), attic (if applicable), floors, walls, ceilings, roofing, doors, windows, plumbing, HVAC systems (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), mold and pests, and electrical systems.
Depending on the size of the house, the inspector could take between two to five hours reviewing these.
What Should Be My Take on Inspections?
As stated above, every house will have some issues, and repair costs may go up thousands of dollars. The question is not so much how many things need fixing, but how critical they are. Are these issues mild or essential to the house’s proper functioning?
How to Move Forward After an Inspection
Check the gravity of any issues reported and talk to your realtor. Depending on the problems, you may request the seller to repair before you buy, or lower the selling price. If there are too many significant problems, you may choose to back down from the sale altogether.