As a First time buyers, when you put a contract on a house you are doing something very exciting. This is your first home, and you are taking a huge step! While this is a very exciting time, you need to make sure that as soon as you submit the contract, you also order a home inspection. Having a home inspection done to your house is essential as it ensures that the home is in good condition. It will also let you know of any unpleasant surprises that might cost you money down the road. Now it should be noted that not every home inspection will be the same. In order to make sure that you are getting a proper home inspection that is telling you everything you need to know about your new home, then you will want to keep these tips in mind:
1. Researching a Home Inspector:
A home inspection is only as great as the inspector who is doing the work. Far too often home buyers and sellers will take whatever name they find or any inspector that they find or is recommended. This is not a decision you should take lightly. You are about to pay several hundred of dollars for a home inspection so you want the inspection to be done right and by the right person. Here are some important questions that you want ask the inspector:
- How long have they been inspecting homes?
- How many home inspections have they done over the last five years?
- What type of certifications and training do they have?
As a first time home buyer, you want to make sure you hired a certified home inspector that is knowledgeable on home building and maintenance industries well. You want to have an inspector working for you that knows the strengths and weaknesses of your property.
2. Attend the Inspection:
While some may say that you don’t actually have to attend the home inspection, but you really should. You wont get the complete picture of what is going on just by reading the inspection report. If you do not actually witness the inspection as it is happening, then you most likely won’t have the proper understanding of potential home problems. Some home buyers might run into the problem of home inspectors that turn down inspections because the potential buyer or seller won’t attend the actual inspection. Keep in mind that a good inspection can take several hours, so you will need to put aside plenty of time to attend. The results of the inspection will be able to tell you whether you should really buy the home or if you should consider a different home. So if you haven’t guessed, showing up is important.
3. Read the Inspection Report:
Shelling out $400 for a home inspection does you no good if you can’t read the report. You should spend at least 30 minutes going over the report. Ideally this should be done with the inspector so you can ask any questions or clarifications. It is especially helpful if the inspector uses clear and concise language in the report. A good inspection report will state anything that is wrong with the home, and what is needed to fix it in simple language.
4. Get a Pre-Sale Inspection:
Now if you are on the other side of the selling processes then it is very smart to get a home inspection done before you put it up for sale. Having your home inspected before you call your real estate agent, you will have plenty of time to get repairs done. With that extra time, it is easier to shop around for contractors and materials and keep costs down. On the buyer and seller side, it is very common to wait too long to get a home inspection. But you should find a good inspector well before you put the home on the market, and before you are thinking about making an offer on a home.
#5 Prepare the Home
If you are a home seller, you should have the home ready for an inspection. The home inspector should not have to empty closets and the attic to get to essential systems.
#6 Get Pictures
All good home inspectors will take pictures during the inspection. He will be going into places that you do not usually go. So you should have the inspector photograph any areas that could cause problems later. Also, infrared and thermal cameras are great tools that some inspectors use to look behind floors and walls that you cannot access.
#7 Pay Attention to the Roof
The roof is a major system that keeps the inside in good shape. Make sure the home inspector actually goes on the roof and takes pictures. Be sure that you know when the roof was replaced so you know if you will need to adjust your offer accordingly. Replacing a roof can cost $10,000 or more, so you want to know that this essential system is not going to fail in the near future. If you keep these home inspection tips in mind, you should be able to buy the home of your dreams with minimal problems.