What You Need to Know About Home Inspections
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As we get closer to moving to the new place, We're getting to the fun part – inspections for the house.
Since were going from a newly built house to an older home for the next place, we wanted to get a clear picture of what to expect.
While a home inspector can not predict the future or catch everything (can't inspect behind the walls), your inspection is a chance for you to understand what needs to be done should you decide to buy your home.
The first step in making the most of your inspection is finding the right person for the job.
Finding a Qualified Home Inspector
Many people choose their home inspectors based on recommendations from people they trust like family, friends, or their real estate agent.
Even if you completely trust your agent (and you should – you're making a huge purchase!), it's in your best interest to vet their picks.
Give them a call and ask some questions to get an idea if they're the right fit for you. Some you may want to ask:
- What does your inspection cover?
- How many years have you been in business? How many inspections have you done?
- Do you have a sample report I can check out?
- Are you a member of a professional home inspector association?
By the way if your inspector doesn't want you at the house during inspection,you're probably better off finding another inspector.
Never Hire Based on Price
While you're no doubt on a budget as you're getting ready to buy your next house, please understand that price shouldn't be the a priority.
Think of your inspection as an investment and opportunity to get an objective view of your potential home.
The national average for home inspections is $300-$500. If the home inspector gives a much higher and lower number, ask them more questions.
If they give you a higher price, do they perform additional services?
If it's much lower than what you've seen, is this discount because they are a newer inspector and are building up their references?
Take Notes, Ask Questions at Home Inspection
Home inspections are a crucial part of the process and I highly recommend being there when the inspector is in.
Home inspections of single family homes typically take about 2-3 hours so bring along a notebook or your smart phone and write down what you see and what to know.
You might not be able to follow the inspector everywhere (tight crawl space/attic), but it's okay to shadow them around the house.
As they work through the home, it's okay to take some pictures yourself. I took a few so I could remember to highlight the key repairs for my husband.
Ask them questions. This house could potentially be your home for the next few years, it pays to understand what's going.
The best ones will explain everything so you can understand their report.
Thoughts on Home Inspectors
For those of you who've gone through the process, I'd love to hear your stories and tips. How did you find your home inspector? Did you attend the inspection?