A Primer into the Home Inspection Process

Posted by  on Apr 16, 2009
During the home buying process, you will want to have a home inspection done to ensure that you are buying a property that's safe and secure. Most transactions in home buying will actually require it in order to make the process legal, so it's considered a necessity. By learning about the process, you will be able to see just how thorough they are and what they can help you with when you are attempting to buy a home.

First of all, you will want to hire a home inspector (if you have the choice) that is from a third party company who is not affiliated with the real estate agency or the seller. This will guarantee an impartial judgment of the home and allow you to know that their assessments are valid. You can find these professionals through your local planning departments or contractor organizations.

What the home inspector will do is check the home to make sure it is structurally fit for people to live in. They will be looking at the condition of everything in the home to see if it works. As they are examining the home, they will make notes of anything that is unsafe or is in need of repair.

They will look things such as the:

  • Plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Foundation stability
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Boat dock, if there is one
  • Pools

These home inspectors will be looking for leaks and damages, as well as, dry rot and termites in the home. Knowing about these problems ahead of time might save you from major repairs down the line and when they are detected can often create a bargaining point in the home sale process. You may be able to ask for a reduced price for the home in order to make the repairs yourself. And if the seller doesn't agree to that arrangement, they will need to make the repairs themselves and them submit to another home inspection before you make your decision.

When you are making arrangements to pay for repairs, you will want to do so with the advisement of your lawyer and the seller's lawyer. This will help to ensure that the agreement is legally bound and will happen within a specific time frame.

To find a quality home inspector, you will want to talk to them first before having them come out to the site. Here are some things that you can do beforehand to make sure you are getting someone that will find problems before the sale:

  • Ask to see a sample report from them — You will want to look to see if they are thorough in their inspections and if they are documenting everything or just going for a general inspection
  • Ask what they will look at during the inspection
  • Ask for referrals from other previous clients or from local home building associations

These steps are important, as many states do not require that inspectors have a license. You need to be sure that you are choosing someone that is giving you a high quality inspection for the money that you will be paying him or her.

You will also want to make sure that you are available on the day of the inspection so that you can see what the inspector is doing and what they are seeing as they move through the house.

With a home inspection, you are not getting a guarantee that they have found every single possible flaw in the home, but that they have examined the house as well as they are able.


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