Why pay for an inspection?
- Find serious problems that could cost you.
- Learn ways to maintain the house, so you can stop problems before they develop into big problems.
The purpose of the home inspection is to give you a better idea of what the care and maintenance of the home will look like in the foreseeable future. You will be told about things that are wrong with the house, things that are not wrong (but not wearing well), things that are working fine (but were done poorly), as well as what was built well and work great.
No house goes through home inspection without a list of things to do to make it better!
Interview home inspectors prior to finding your home. Ask about services, costs, availability. Ask your inspector what will be in his/her report and when it will arrive while interviewing.
Important interview questions
- Radon – an odorless gas which can cause lung cancer. Found in rock beneath a home.
- Lead – present in the paint of about 80% of all homes in the state. Also found in soil and water. Can cause neurological damage in children. Lead is a separate inspection. Discuss with you home inspector about whether you should do this test.
- Wood boring pests – termites, carpenter ants, powder post beetles and many others. Can cause damage to the wood of your home.
- There are others. Ask your inspector.
Before the inspection: Some people choose to start tests before the inspection, so the results come in sooner. This could be a waste of money, but it may also bring peace of mind. We can discuss this option. Create a list of questions for your inspector based on what you know or suspect is wrong with the property. Also, if you know you’ll want to change things once you own, ask the inspector about whether he/she thinks this can be done expeditiously. Bring these questions to the inspection.
At the inspection: You will be at the house for 2 to 4 hours for this inspection. It is overwhelming to many people. To make sure you remember the important points, you can take notes, but you will also get a written report, either on the spot or by email. Ask again about the content of the inspection report so you can take notes on the things the inspector is not going to write down for you.
After the inspection: As soon as you are finished with inspection, the seller will start to get anxious about the results. We have found that the best negotiations happen when we get back to the seller within a day; otherwise, they are too edgy to say “yes.”
If you need more information before you have us speak to the seller—maybe have a contractor look at an old roof, or a plumber evaluate a heating system—we must hurry up to get it. Once you have enough facts, your agent will discuss strategies for getting a price reduction if the expense is more than you reasonable should have expected.