So you’ve found the home of your dreams. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and begin your due diligence. Luckily, the brunt of the work does not have to fall on you. But when it comes to a home inspection, it is a good idea to know what you are getting into. The home may appear to be perfect on the surface, but without a home inspection there is no way of knowing what problems may linger. Worst case scenario, you find the home is too much of a project for your liking. Best case scenario, the inspection will become a basis for negotiating a lower price on the home.
Know What to Expect
If you are able to plan for it, you will want to have picked out an inspection service that you know to be trustworthy and has availability. In busy times of the year, many inspectors have long wait times, so you may find yourself in a scramble to meet deadlines if you don’t plan ahead. Additionally, many homebuyer’s fail to factor in the cost of the inspection. While in the grand scheme of things it’s a relatively low expense, it can still require a lot of cash. This is not something you want to skimp on either. Identifying problems up front save you time and money.
Cover All Your Bases
While a reputable inspector will inspect almost every square inch of a home, they don’t inspect everything. Be sure to ask up front but generally speaking, inspections usually do not cover everything. Chimney repairs, septic tanks, wells, or other external structures may not be included, for example. If these items aren’t inspected, don’t think that they shouldn’t be. It is in your best interest to hire a specialist, particularly for high maintenance items such as septic tanks.
Make Your Demands
When you receive the inspection report, allow time to thoroughly read through it, preferably with your realtor, in order to fully understand
the story it is telling. Your realtor can help guide you through it in terms of what it may mean for negotiating either a price reduction or repairs to the home. Note that if the house is listed “as is”, the price has likely been reduced to account for repairs that may be needed and the seller is unwilling or unable to make repairs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
The other less exciting outcome of a home inspection, is the option to walk away from the home all together. If you do decide to have the repairs done, either before or after closing on the home, make sure that all of the work done is well documented.
A home inspection is not the most exciting or glamorous part of buying a home. However, they are completely necessary and will almost always save you money and/or piece of mind. Just know that performing these tedious tasks up front is worth the reward. When it comes to buying a home, ignorance is not bliss.