When buying a residential property, what you see isn’t exactly what you get. You’ll see beautiful flowers, newly painted walls, gleaming floors, and other superficial touches. But what you can’t see is the foundation cracks, mold and faulty plumbing, broken appliances, or other deficiencies that might be concealed except if you inspect a residential property.
Buying a property is an enormous investment, and it is very important to examine every little detail before you make your purchase. Ideally, you need to hire a professional home inspector to certify the condition of the home you are interested in, this way, you wouldn’t have to worry about figuring things out all on your own.
Why is a home inspection so important?
Inspecting a house is one of the most crucial stages of carrying out a real estate transaction. It presents you with an opportunity to hire an expert to assess the home and prepare a report that tells you all about the home’s vital components, their condition, what needs immediate attention, and what will require maintenance once you move in.
As a buyer, an inspection allows you to escape a contract if there are serious structural, mechanical, or safety defects discovered about the house. When you’re not satisfied with the home’s current condition, you get to negotiate with the seller about fixing serious issues or reduce your offer to cover you fixing things yourself. A report will also help you prioritize repairs and improvements and to plan for upgrades where necessary after you buy the home.
How to get an inspector
You can also ask your real estate agent for the names of trusted inspectors. However, if it’s not too much stress, research inspectors on your own and solicit counsel from your friends and family, colleagues, and even potential neighbors. Ask inspectors for references from past jobs. Contact these previous clients and find out whether they were satisfied with the inspector’s thoroughness and responsiveness. Another way to do this is to check online reviews if available.
Before you hire someone to inspect a residential property, ask the potential inspector to provide a sample report so you can see what the inspector report looks like, what it includes, and evaluate their comments. Some reports are lengthy and include photographs while some other reports are mainly just checked boxes with brief notes.
Pay little attention to this as it is of no major importance, the length of the report doesn’t determine the value you’ll get from the report. Instead, ask the inspector what’s included in the inspection and what’s not. And if you have specific concerns about the property, ensure he will address those items in the inspection.
How do you prepare for a home inspection?
As a buyer, you should have your home inspection checklist to ensure you get the most value. We recommend that you prepare by making a list of areas of the home you want to be checked before the inspector arrives.
Your checklist should include but not be limited to:
Rain gutters and downspouts
Exterior stucco or paint
Electrical panel, light switches, and power outlets
Thermostats and heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system
Plumbing fixtures, faucets, and water heater
Walls, ceilings, and floors
Doors and windows
Stairs, steps, and railings
Porches and balconies
Walkways and driveways
A proper inspection would take a few hours. Try to be present during this time, this gives you an avenue to find out as much as possible about the home’s present condition, take notes and photographs, and ask about anything that bothers you.
What next after a home inspection report?
If during the inspection, major problems or a longer list of minor issues than you’d expected are found, consider your options and the decision to purchase that home. But ensure you discuss questions you have first with the inspector.
Although getting your inspections done might add to the stress of home buying, your home is one of the biggest, most valuable purchases you’ll ever make.
The importance of home inspections cannot be over-emphasized as this helps ensure you’re making an excellent investment. An alarming number of buyers express regret about their home purchase because of unexpected and hidden maintenance costs, do not hesitate because of a couple of hundred bucks that an extra inspection will cost.
When you want to purchase, hire a professional to inspect a residential property to help confirm you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s better to be safe than sorry.