When you’re buying a house, you hear a great deal about home inspections. Some lenders require home inspections to be done before they will agree to the home loan. Many people consider a home inspection a smart option, just in case there’s a defect in the home they haven’t noticed. However, you can get a raw deal if you’re not paying attention. By conducting a mini inspection of your own, researching your inspector, and making smart choices with the home inspection report, you can avoid getting ripped off.
First, find a home inspection checklist, and talk to your real estate agent about doing a mini inspection of your own. There are free checklists for download all over the internet, and most of them are simple things: make sure the toilets flush, the doors shut firmly, the windows open, there’s hot water at the taps, etc. It may sound like common sense, but many home buyers don’t think about the little things when they’re caught up in house hunting.
Second, when you’re ready to have a home inspection, do your homework about which house inspector to hire. Look online for not only review sites, but also for a list of regulations for your state. Not all states require house inspectors to be licensed, and even if they do, some licenses don’t cover all things. For example, not all inspectors are qualified to test for radon gas, lead paint, or mold. If you’re considering buying a home in an area where these any of things are a problem, do extra research, and find a reputable inspector who can test for what you need.
Third, once you have your home inspection report, be smart about what to do with it. If there are minor problems with the house you’re considering, then it’s not as problematic as finding out the house needs a new roof. Once you know what problems there are, consider what you want to do with the information. You can ask that the problems be fixed before you consider purchasing the house, or you can use the information to negotiate a different price. If the house needs a new roof, do you want the current owners to do it, or do you want control over what kind of roof is put on? The decision is different for each person buying a house.
Home inspections have their place, and can help a home buyer find any potential problems early on. By doing a little mini inspection of your own, researching a qualified house inspector, and being smart about the information in the inspection report, you can make a better informed, and wiser decision about a potential house purchase.
Have you had any issues with home inspectors? can you add any tips of your own? leave a comment.