You’ve made an offer on a home and it’s been accepted, so now what? You should start by having the home inspected. This article may help you understand what a home inspection is and what to do before, during and after a home inspection.
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home. Typically, inspections are conducted by an inspector who has the training, knowledge and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a report of their findings. The client then uses this information to make informed decisions about their pending purchase. The inspector will describe the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.
Before the home inspection, find the best inspector you can. Many buyers will take the recommendation of their realtor. Referrals from family members or friends can also be helpful. However, it’s always good to find a home inspector you trust, not just one your realtor trusts. Go online, research their reviews, and pick the inspector who fits your needs best. If you find a home inspector who has been a contractor in their professional life, they should be even more familiar with how things work in a home.
You should be present during the inspection for a walk-through of the inspectors’ findings. If your inspector will not let you attend a walk-through of the inspection you should hire a different inspector. The inspection is not only a way to learn what may be problematic in your home, but as a guide to your home’s systems and appliances. Your home inspector should be able to walk you through all the homes systems so you can learn how they operate and how to maintain them. Your inspector should also list any problems they see in the home and what will need to be repaired. You can then discuss with your realtor which things you want to ask the seller to repair or replace before agreeing to purchase the home. Or, you may want to negotiate on the purchase price. You should also make sure to ask questions during the inspection. The inspector has been hired by you for you, and they should be able to tell you the state of the home without a bias. Good inspectors should be able to give you a rough estimate as to how long you have left on certain parts of your home. This isn’t a guarantee, but it can help you plan for the long-term repairs.
After the inspection and the walk-through of the home with the inspector you will receive a copy of the report from the inspector. Be sure to use it. Always read through the entire report and compare notes with your realtor before doing anything. You will have several options. First, you can decide to walk away from the purchase. Most offer letters have an inspection contingency that states if you’re unhappy with the state the home is in you can leave the agreement. If you think the issues with the home aren’t enough to terminate the contract you can either ask for a reduction on price or ask for the seller to pay for the repairs. You should state your worst concerns first. A home warranty can help repair or replace worn out systems and appliances. If you get a home warranty, remember to use your home inspection alongside it. Home warranties do not typically cover the problems mentioned in your home inspection unless they have been repaired.