When you’re buying a home, you should have a home inspection done. It’s probably the single most important expense you will incur when buying your home. A home inspection is like a physical for your house, in that the home inspector will go over your entire home, crawlspace, attic, and more, to see if anything is wrong with the house. If you’re buying an older home, you’ll definitely want to get a home inspection done. You might discover that there are some major items that need to be repaired, and you can then negotiate for the seller to either fix them, or come down on the selling price so that you can fix them.
Because home inspections are so important, you shouldn’t take them lightly. This is the final defense before you buy the house to make sure that the structure is safe and in good repair. There are several mistakes that you’ll want to avoid when you have a home inspection.
Mistake: Not Inspecting New Construction
You might think that because you’re buying a new construction home, you won’t need to have a home inspection. Why would you? The home has to pass local codes and building codes, so everything should be in order. But that’s not necessarily true. You might be surprised what a home inspector will find in a new home. For instance, the home inspection might reveal that a major support beam or joist was cut into to make room for duct work. Before you even buy the house, it’s already starting to sink. Don’t make this mistake. Get a home inspection, even if the house is new.
Mistake: Wrong Reasons for Picking an Inspector
You might be tempted to save money, or even take the first recommendation that you are given. Don’t. The home inspector is the experienced professional that is making sure that your home is safe. You don’t want to hire a less expensive inspector, and find out that he missed some things because of a lack of experience. And if your real estate agent suggests a certain home inspector, they might have a reason for doing so. Do some research, and get quotes from several inspectors. You’ll want to make sure that they are properly licensed, credentialed, and carry error and omission insurance.
Mistake: Not Going to the Inspection
The report that you receive from the home inspection can only give you so much information. Without going along on the inspection, and being able to talk to the home inspector, you might get hung up on the minor issues and completely ignore the main ones. You might find out that some outlets aren’t grounded properly, and then completely ignore the fact that your furnace has a gas leak. When you are present, the inspector will be able to tell you what’s major or not, and you can even ask questions. Then, listen to their recommendations and professional opinion. After all, this is what you paid them for.
Mistake: Not Following Up
If your home inspector finds a major issue, such as a gas leak, you should follow up on the issue before you close on the house. You might find that the problem is bigger than anticipated, and now you’re completely responsible for the costs of fixing it. If you follow up before closing, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the repairs needed, find a contractor, or even get the homeowner to fix the problem for you. If your home inspector recommends that you look further into an issue, you should listen. It might just save you in the long run.
Mistake: Home Inspector’s Aren’t Psychic
Even if you hire the best home inspector, they still might miss something. Or, something might go wrong after you buy the house. Home inspectors can’t know or catch everything. If they know that the type of furnace in the house lasts around ten years, and the unit is currently older than that, the inspector isn’t going to know how much longer the furnace will last. It could stop working tomorrow, or keep going for another few years.
Know that the home inspector is working for you, though
You hired them to inspect your house, and to be honest. They will be. They get paid regardless of if the house sells or not, so home inspectors are more likely to offer neutral and balanced opinions. They will let you know what they discovered in the house, and their recommendations. Beyond that, it’s up to you to decide if the potential issues make buying the house worth it to you or not.