How to make sure you have a good house inspection
Inspecting a home can be a scary process for first time buyers. At last you found the house of your dreams but now they have to inspect it and check that there are no serious problems. What if the house you love has problems hidden beneath that shiny new coat of paint? If you cannot sleep because there are only moldy visions in your house, it’s time to take a deep breath.
Here are some ideas on how to get a the good inspection:
- Hire a top quality inspector
Although it may be tempting to hire any inspector you find (especially if the price is right) but the inspection is not something you want to negotiate with! After all, buying a home is a huge investment. If you are going to choose an inspector for price on quality, you can lose.
So, first, check the local requirements: Many states require an inspector to have a license or insurance, and if they do not have one it is a clue that is not a good inspector. Even if insurance is not mandatory, it is better to choose an inspector who is insured, which protects both you from errors and omissions. Membership in a professional trade organization, such as the National Association of Home Inspectors, indicate that the inspector is up-to-date on the latest developments in the field – which is very good!
- Attend inspection
Although you will receive a written report after the inspection, you should attend the inspection while it is taking place. It is a valuable opportunity to learn all about the inner workings of your new home. It is preferable for the inspectors as well and for you to attend because it is easier to explain a problem of the house face to face instead of reading a report of 10 pages.
So, do not be afraid to ask questions. You and your inspector will be looking at all sorts of things you might have missed during your visits with the agent. Do not be afraid to go into detail. It will even be easier to fix problems with practical understanding of the issues involved. They regard inspection as a free (and valuable) lesson on how to fix future problems in your home.
- Do not panic until you really touch it
The vast majority of the issues raised during an inspection are reparable; After all you are buying a “used” house. Like a used car or old equipment or second-hand clothing, there will be problems. Some of them may be small and can easily be fixed. But if an inspector detects a major problem as with the foundation or the water intrusion – nor can this end a contract! In fact, it could be a good point to negotiate price or closing costs with the buyer.
Work with your attorney and real estate agent to determine the best approach. If your offer depended on a satisfactory inspection (and most are), it has a good basis for asking current owners to make repairs before closing. You will want to get this in writing along with provisions if the sellers fail to solve the problems.
But there is no obligation on sellers to pay for repairs. If you are not willing to take on the burden, you need to assess whether the cost of a new roof or mold reduction, or foundation fixation, or whatever the problem is worth.