What Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

A professional home inspection should never be optional. In many cases, buyers won't be able to get a mortgage approved without a home inspection. That is because homes are vastly imperfect spaces and a home's value depends a lot on its condition. For some worthwhile tips on making the most of your home inspection, read on.

  1. Make the appointment for the inspection soon after your offer is accepted. Good inspectors stay busy and you may have to wait weeks for an opening. If the inspection turns up a big problem, you want to have plenty of time to deal with it.
  2. Try to accompany the inspector. Some inspectors don't mind it and some aren't too thrilled about it. It's not as if you are just along for the ride. You might learn valuable information about your home by following the inspector around for the day. At the very least, you will know the location of fuse boxes and water shut-off valves. Just be sure to stay out of the inspector's way and don't distract them from their tasks.
  3. You may notice that some homes are sold "as is" but that should not deter you from hiring a professional inspector to take a look at things. You will need to understand what the problems are to give you an idea of how much it might take to deal with them before knowing the value of the deal.
  4. A home inspection should look at every part of the house from the basement to the roof and includes the yard. For example, homes built on grades should have proper water flow and support to keep the foundation secure.
  5. The focus of a home inspection is the home's major systems. That usually includes plumbing, electrical, roof, and heating and cooling systems. Along with that, they may test any included appliances and the foundation of the home. 
  6. In most cases, a professional home inspection won't address pests. A termite inspection is important unless the seller can produce a valid termite bond that includes a recent inspection.
  7. Once the inspection is complete, you'll get a report. Examine the report ask questions if you don't understand something.
  8. How you handle issues is up to you. If the fix is extensive and expensive, you may want to reconsider the purchase, renegotiate the deal, or ask the seller to pay for the repairs. Most minor issues can be overlooked but be aware that some lenders of government-backed loans are picky about relatively minor things.

These are some tips to consider before moving into a single-family home. Talk to your real estate agent for more suggestions on dealing with the home inspection as well as when problems arise.


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