What is a Home Inspection?
Once you have made a purchase contract with the seller, your job isn’t done. You cannot sit back and relax until closing because you have several things that you need to accomplish in the meantime. For example, you will need to find a home inspector, and you will need to schedule time for a home inspection. You can ask your realtor for the name of a good inspector, and you can also look online. The inspector will crawl through the house from the top to the bottom looking for any potential problems that the house might have.
The process usually takes two to three hours, and it will usually cost several hundred dollars. The inspector will come to your home and look at everything. This includes the walls, the insulation, the attic, all of the rooms, the plumbing, the windows, the lights, the roof, and more.
For example, your home inspector will check the foundation for cracks or problems. He or she will make sure that the air conditioner and heater work. He or she will make sure that all of the sinks and showers work, and may look at included appliances such as a washer and a dryer. He or she will crawl around the attic and the basement and will make sure all of the windows open and shut properly. He or she will go through the whole house looking for potential problems and issues, and at the end of the process he or she will complete a report that lists any issues. You may require additional testing or inspections, such as a septic tank inspection.
You and any adult who will be living in the house should attend the inspection. You want to see what the inspector finds, and you want to ask questions. It’s better to actually see what the inspector finds rather than simply reading the report after the fact.
Do I Really Need an Inspection?
You want to get an inspection done. Really, you have to get an inspection done. You don’t want to move in and find that there is something very wrong with the house. A home inspection, while it may be costly, can protect you from even greater costs. A thorough inspector can save you from buying a house with a serious problem.
After the Inspection
Every house is likely to have some problems, but don’t freak out. Some problems will be small and easily fixed while others may be deal breakers. You can still negotiate at this point and ask the current owner to make repairs. You can also negotiate on the price of the home if you will need to free up funds to make your own repairs. If there are grievous problems, you can always back of the deal.
What about You?
Are you planning on having your home inspected prior to purchase? Have you had a home inspected before? How did it go?