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.

Be prepared

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 Changing the filter on the HVAC system, replacing outdated plumbing valves or monitoring leaks will help keep things working.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.

4 responses to Top 4 Home Inspection Tips

  • Linda Tucker says:

    Thanks for sharing all of these four inspection tips for your home! I really like your point on using inspection to help you develop a maintenance plan. That is something I definitely need to do for the boiler in my basement. Right now, I have no idea what kind of maintenance it needs, so I think I am going to start looking for a professional to inspect it!

  • Anita Mas says:

    That would be cool to walk around the property with the inspector. That way I could have the chance to really get to know the property. I have to admit that I might not pay as much attention to where the electrical panel and stuff are otherwise. Those things are good to know.

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