Home Buying • 3 min read
A Buyer’s Guide to Home Inspections
Preparing to buy a home can be one of the most exciting times of your life. Your dream property is within your reach—but if you’re not careful, that dream could turn into a nightmare. Some homes can come with problems that aren’t obvious to the untrained eye—meaning you could be facing all sorts of expensive repairs down the line.
Thankfully, there’s a way to avoid this horrible scenario: get a home inspection! Home inspections are a vital part of the buying process and can protect you from potentially making a bad investment.
What Is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is, essentially, a visual examination of the core components of the house. A professional home inspector will walk through the property, taking note of any faults or safety hazards. That information will be compiled in a report for your benefit.
Typically speaking, home inspections will look at:
- Walls and Ceilings
- Doors and Windows
- HVAC Systems
- Electrical Systems
- Interior and Exterior Features
Getting a home inspection is one of the best things you can do as a buyer because it can reassure you that a house is in good condition—or give you the opportunity to back out of the deal if it’s not.
The Home Inspection Process
Home inspections are incredibly important, but first-time buyers might feel a little overwhelmed at the prospect. However, with a little preparation, you can make sure that things go smoothly. We’ve gone over the basic process below, providing you with the tips you need to succeed.
Hire an Inspector
The first step is the most obvious one: find the right home inspector! Choosing a solid inspector will determine the quality of the report you’ll receive, so it’s important to think about your choices carefully. To start, try taking a look at their reviews. This will give you a better idea of the individual’s experience and how they operate. From there, compile a list of potential inspectors and create some questions to ask them.
Some of the most useful things you can ask prospective inspectors include:
- How much experience do you have?
- What are your certifications?
- Can I see a sample report?
- What will the inspection cover?
This information will help you get a better idea of their qualifications, which you can compare and contrast with other professionals to determine which is right for you.
Prepare for the Inspection
Once you’ve chosen a home inspector, they’ll set a date and time for the actual inspection. As the buyer, there isn’t too much you’ll have to do to prepare, but you’ll probably still want to keep a couple of things in mind. First, make sure you have information on any problems the seller already disclosed. By giving this to your inspector, you can make sure these problems are looked over. Second, make a note of any questions and concerns you have about the home. Your inspector can clarify things and give you peace of mind.
Once your inspector arrives, the actual process can begin. Typically speaking, the inspection will take between two and three hours, though the actual amount of time will depend on the size and condition of the house. Ask your inspector if you can come along to observe and ask questions; if they say no, then make sure there’s still time set aside to talk about things later.
Get the Inspection Report
Once the inspection is completed, your inspector will compile all of their findings into a report. Some reports are available within 24 hours, while others may take a couple of days to receive; make sure you check with your inspector on the time frame. Many professionals are also willing to go over their reports with you, which can be beneficial to help you get a better idea of the property’s condition.
Your inspection report is an invaluable tool. If everything looks okay, then you’re good to go through with the purchase. If it doesn’t, however, then you can use the information on the report to negotiate for repairs, ask for a lower price, or even back out of the deal altogether.
Buy a Home without Hidden Problems
Getting a home inspection is one of the best things a buyer can do to protect themselves. Choose the right professional and give yourself peace of mind. If you’d like to learn more about the home buying process—and how to manage it—then get in touch with us. We’d be happy to provide you with assistance.