Top 4 Home Inspection Tips
Many buyers assume a home inspection is their opportunity to find flaws that will give them leverage in negotiating down the price. While often resulting in a second round of negotiations, inspections are really your best, most thorough introduction to your potential home. Here are four home inspection tips to keep in mind.
Hire a pro
Hire a well-known, local inspector—preferably someone your agent recommends. If your Uncle Bob is a contractor, it may seem like a good idea to bring him instead. But you need a licensed inspector who’s familiar with the area, as well as different types of homes and systems. The inspector should be a voice or reason, not an alarmist or overly optimistic.
During the viewings, you probably had questions about some aspects of the construction. Write down your concerns and bring them with you.
If the seller provided property disclosures, or you’ve received documents about the property from the local building department, bring them to the inspection, too. The inspector typically begins with a discussion about what he needs to accomplish, then asks what questions or concerns you have. Lay them out at the beginning, so the inspector can keep them in mind as he goes through the home.
Walk around with the inspector
Some inspectors prefer to work independently. But most will give you the opportunity to walk around with them. This is your chance to learn about your home. You want to see firsthand where your water heater and electrical panel are. It’s easier to understand if you are there, in front of the inspector when he points something out, than to hear about it at the end.
Use the inspection to develop a maintenance plan
Parts of the home often break down or fall apart because nobody properly maintained them. Changing the filter on the HVAC system, replacing outdated plumbing valves or monitoring leaks will help keep things working. The inspection is a perfect way to learn about your home and what it will need going forward. If the boiler is near the end of its life, find out what you need to do next winter to make it last the season. Create a financial plan to replace it in the future.