Buying a home is a big investment and everyone wants to ensure they get a good deal on a solid home. One thing that I always recommend my buyers do is get a home inspection on the home they want to buy. A home inspector can identify any problems or concerns and it gives you, the buyer, added peace of mind on this large purchase. As you complete the purchase agreement, you can make your offer contingent on a home inspection. That simply means that you, as the buyer, are offering a specific amount of money for the home but that offer is based on what home inspector finds. As the buyer, you would hire an experienced home inspector to complete this task for you.
There are a couple of reason to hire a professional home inspector. First, the home inspector is not emotionally attached to the home. While you can already imagine how your furniture will look in the living room overlooking the lake, a home inspectors is looking for any defects that would cause alarm. Second, home inspectors have the experience and knowledge to look at many different aspects of a home that most home buyers don’t have such as plumbing, electric, roofs, heating and cooling systems, and more.
The process of using a home inspector is really easy. Your Realtor can give you the names and contact information for qualified home inspectors in your area. Simply contact them, decide which you feel that most comfortable with and schedule a time that is convenient for you. Or, if you prefer, your Realtor can schedule the home inspection if you are not available or do not live in the area.
On the day of the inspection, the home inspector will spend 3-4 hours at the property. He will look at everything and take pictures and make notes of anything that stands out as a possible issue. As the buyer, you can spend the last hour or so with the inspector at the home so he can point out any issues. You will also get a detailed Home Inspection Report. Your Realtor can go through the Home Inspection Report with you and based on that report you can go back to the seller and ask to have certain things repaired, ask for nothing and take the property as-is, or walk away. If you ask for items to be repaired, the seller can and sometimes do, say “no”.
One thing to remember as you look at the Home Inspection Report: No Property is Ever Perfect! None of them. There will always be basic maintenance things. Look at major issues or safety issues. Are the fire alarms in working order? Is the roof leaking? Is there a plumbing issues under the kitchen sink? Is the forced air heating system functioning properly. Is the basement wet or does their look like there maybe a foundation issues. These are big deals. Little things such as a missing outlet cover or a tear in the screen are maintenance.