Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

Home inspection magnifying glass.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial investments you will ever make in your lifetime. You should hire a certified professional home inspector to inspect the home that you are planning to buy before you finalize your purchase. Whether the home is new construction or old; a home inspection is recommended before you buy it. 

Why Should You Hire a Home Inspector?

A trained and qualified home inspector will check the condition of the home, to determine if the home has any defects or safety issues (such as poor structural designs, electrical wiring issues, or water leakage in the basement). Finding defects and safety issues before you finalize your purchase will save you from unexpected costs shortly after a purchase and will catch any major structural problems before closing the sale. 

Find The Right Home Inspector

When buying a home you should find the right home inspector to inspect the property before you buy it. Don’t automatically go with your realtor’s recommended home inspector. Do your research and ask your friends or your family members if they can recommend one. Choose an experienced licensed home inspector with a good reputation. Compared to the buying price of a home, it’s well worth it to pay a little bit more for a professional certified home inspector. 

Home inspection of plumbing.

It's very important that you ask your home inspector what they cover before they do the inspection so that you are aware of what is included and excluded with the inspection. Some questions to ask are: will the inspection include a check for mold behind walls, a complete chimney check, will the roof inspection be visual or will the inspector climb up to the roof to inspect it? Ask the home inspector if infrared thermal imaging cameras will be used to see behind walls, under floors, and if the sewer lines will be inspected. 

Show Up to the Home Inspection

Pick a date and time that fits with your schedule and be sure you are present for the home inspection. Do not hesitate to ask the home inspector questions. Make sure the inspector examines the home's major systems such as heating, electrical, plumbing, insulation, foundation, roofing, air conditioning, drainage, and attic ventilation. Make sure the inspector checks all electrical panels and outlets for any potential fire hazards. Make sure your home inspector checks the attic for air leaks because an attic with air leaks may have potential problems with mold or moister issues. Make sure the inspector checks to see if there is sufficient insulation in the home to reduce the home’s energy bills during the cold winter and the hot summers.

Home Inspection Costs and Time

The average home inspection costs between $200 and $500.  Home inspection costs depend on the size of the home, the location, and the types of inspection services. It will cost you a little bit of money but it will give you peace of mind. A home inspection takes between 2 to 4 hours to complete depending on the size of the property being inspected.

Pictures from the Inspector for Proof

Ask your home inspector to photograph any potential problems that appear during the inspection especially in hard to access areas such as the roof, under decks, crawl spaces, and the attic. Ensure the inspector uses an infrared camera to check through the drywall to check for signs of mold or rotting walls in areas where water damage is suspected.

Home inspection report.

Keep The Inspection Report With You

Take the inspection report seriously. Make sure that the home inspector walks through the entire property and answers all your questions about any home repairs that may be needed in the future. Don’t forget that you have the right to cancel your offer to purchase the home if it fails the home inspection and needs expensive repairs. You could also negotiate a reduced price with the seller or ask the seller to complete the repairs required before the home closing. Take a copy of the written report from the inspector to keep it as a reference guide with you.

Home Inspection for Sellers 

A home inspection is not just for homebuyers but it is also a good idea for sellers who are thinking about putting their home on the market. A home inspection will tell the seller if there are any maintenance issues that should be repaired before the home is put on the market. Repairing any issues in a home before trying to sell it will reduce its time on the market, will improve the value of the home, and will avoid prolonged negotiations with potential buyers requesting repairs or a price reduction on the home.

A good home inspection is your best protection against purchasing a property that could potentially become a home maintenance nightmare. A home inspection will help you plan ahead for any repairs the home will need, will help you avoid any unexpected surprises after the property is purchased, and will help you feel more secure about your purchase of the home.



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