Home Inspections (or Why its important to pay someone else to crawl under your house!)
You have found (or will hopefully soon find) your dream home. Congratulations!
Now on to the fun part. You have a team of folks looking our for your best interests, the Realtor helped you find the home, the Mortgage Lender will help you with the money needed to purchase the home, and the Closing Attorney will perform a title search, prepare the closing documents and help make sure you understand all of the legal documents as you sign your closing documents.
But what about making sure the home of your dreams is not hiding nightmares.
Enter The Home Inspector. The Home Inspector is someone who has undergone extensive training, often worked an apprenticeship, and is very often someone who has worked on homes before, like a contractor. Their job is to go through the house and, much like a detective, look for signs or clues of defects in the house. The home inspector looks at not just the construction of the home, but also how it has been maintained. They look for signs of deterioration on and within the home. They test out the fixtures to see if there are obvious signs of issues and will make recommendations based on their knowledge of the estimated life of said fixtures. And after all is said and done, they will write an inspection report that will include all of their findings and pictures of the issues.
The inspection report is your road map to the new home and you can then sit down with your Realtor to discuss what, if any, repairs you will ask the Seller to make before completing the Purchase, and which repairs you do not want to worry about. Sometimes smaller, or even larger, defects are things that you may prefer to not negotiate with the Seller because you can fix them yourself, or because you do not want to include those in the transaction.
A caveat. Home Inspectors are not insuring that they have covered everything that could possibly be known about the home. There are plenty of hidden defects that would not be able to be uncovered in a routine home inspection, for example, a ceiling fan that was improperly installed and there are issues with the wiring. The inspector will turn on the light switch and if the light and fan work, then there is no way for them to know that the wiring was badly installed. The Inspector will not take the fan down and check the wires. The same goes for many other hidden defects in the property and should there be an issue in the future that a home inspector would not have checked, then they will not accept liability for the issue.
One final thought. When you look at the home, however many times you do. Take a note pad and write down issues that you see. Then when it is time for the home inspection, give those issues to your Realtor to provide to the home inspector. They should catch all of the same things, but if they see things that you have written that concern you, they will pay extra attention to those and will make sure to let you know what they determine.
I hope that you found this informative. If you feel that this information may help you or a client, please reach out. It is my mission to help others.
Jeremiah L. McGuire