What Are The Important Considerations at a Home Inspection?
The home inspection is one of the most important items to pay attention to when it comes to buying a new home. It will give you the low down on the most important systems and aspects of the property you are considering investing in. The inspection becomes even more essential when you are buying a fixer-upper house. Homes that need work bring an extra level of due diligence as there is no telling what significant problems could be found.
Before you even get to the point of hiring a professional, you should pay close attention to the state of the home yourself. It is all too easy to walk around a property with rose-colored glasses and forget to look around for defects.
You may already have fallen in love with the property because of its curb appeal or neighborhood - it is all too easy to do. This is why the home inspection report is important. It will, hopefully, prevent you from making a buying mistake you'll regret.
The inspection is also a great way to become educated on your investment as well. Waiving an inspection can be really risky. It becomes far more prevalent in markets where there are bidding wars. Many buyers, however, learn the hard way when they discover the fact they've purchased a lemon. Don't be one of them!
Aspects of the Home Inspection Which Are More Important Than Others
Yes, there are some aspects of the home inspection that are more important than others. For instance, the home inspector will make a special point of checking the roof, foundation and mechanical systems such as the heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical. Not only do these areas concern the safety of those who live in the home but are very costly to repair or replace. Having an understanding of the condition of these things is essential.
You should also be aware of some of the other potential issues that can crop up with homes such as mold, radon, lead paint, asbestos and potable drinking water. It is vital the home inspector checks out all of these things for you.
Can I Ask the Home Inspector to Check Certain Areas of the Home?
Yes, is the answer to that question. The buyer pays for the home inspection report, so if you are concerned about certain areas of the home, do ask the home inspector to pay extra close attention to them.
A broken window pane may not be such a big deal, but an HVAC system that has not been regularly maintained can quickly cause problems and cost you a lot of money to either replace or repair.
It goes without saying that the structural components are important, but that is not all. Make sure that you ask the home inspector to check for problems related to electrical wiring and plumbing. They are all red flags when it comes to home ownership.
If this is the first time you are buying a property, it may feel that you are criticizing someone’s home, but that is not what you are doing at all. In fact, what you are doing is looking after your investment. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions of home inspectors. It might be smart to look them over and ask many of them yourself.
What If I Get Negative Feedback?
No home is perfect, but there are certainly some red flags that you should look out for when you read the home inspection report.
We have already mentioned the roof, HVAC system, and the foundation, but when it comes to buying a home, don’t stop there. Other problems can involve considerable costs. In a worst-case scenario, your lender may even refuse to release funds even though you think you have found your dream home. Some loan products such as FHA and VA require homes to be in acceptable condition. When defects are found that don't meet these baseline requirements a loan will not be granted.
Look out for problems with security, the basement, and the attic. Any structural problems can prevent the sale of the property from going through. It is also a good idea to pay attention to how energy efficient home appliances are if they are part of the sale. In the future, this is likely to become increasingly important.
Let’s Talk About The Price
There is no reason why you should not use the home inspection report to ask for a price drop if warranted. If you are going to have to spend money getting repairs done, it is important to make sure you are aware of the costs.
A home inspector may be able to give you some idea of costs, but if you are concerned, it is always best to ask a contractor for an estimate. In many places home inspectors are not allowed to quote prices for repairs as it is considered a conflict of interest.
Don’t feel guilty if you feel that you have to re-negotiate the price. It is your money and you have every right in the world to spend your money wisely. If you notice that there are several smaller aspects of the home that need attention, you should keep that in mind.
Individually they may not cost you a lot of money, but once you start adding up all the little details in the home inspection report, and you start seeing dollar signs in front of your eyes, you should do something about it.
When looking over these problems keep in mind that no home is perfect. The focus should be on larger problems and not common maintenance issues.
You should consult with your real estate agent and figure out what are reasonable requests and what aren't. It is never acceptable to ask for repairs of issues you knew about before making your offer. The home inspection is to find out about things you were not aware of. The point is it's not for using it as a tool to re-negotiate. Those buyers who do this, end up creating a needlessly tense transaction.
Ask for the larger problems to be corrected either by a contractor or by getting a closing cost credit so you can deal with them yourself after the closing.
It is vital to avoid some of the most common home inspection mistakes like choosing the cheapest home inspection. The saying "you get what you pay for" certainly holds true when it comes to home inspections. Make sure you ask around for references from family, friends and your real estate agent if you have trust in them. Saving a couple hundred dollars is silly when you think about the thousands of dollars of problems that could be missed by not hiring the best home inspection professional.
You might in fact want to consider only an inspector that is ASHI certified as they have the highest level of standards in the industry.