If you are under contract for purchasing a home, then the clock is ticking. This can be an exciting yet stressful time.
You need to find a home inspector and make sure you’re fully informed about the property you plan to buy. When it comes to the condition of your prospective home, you don’t want someone who is going to cut corners. You want them to exceed expectations.
But it can be difficult to know where to look and what makes for a good inspector to start with. The good news is that there are a few criteria you can use to find a reputable one. Keep reading to find out what those are and how you can use them to make the home inspection process run smoothly.
Home Inspection Basics
Home inspections usually take place after you are under contract with a seller. They are not required by law, but it is something that your mortgage lender may want to have done so that they can approve the loan. They want to know everything they can about the property they are lending money to pay for.
A home inspection relays the condition of a piece of property and the systems that make it up. This is valuable information so that a buyer can make an informed decision about the purchase.
In general, it’s a good thing to have done. It’s important for your peace-of-mind and for your bank account. Almost half of all people who get a home inspection are able to use the results to negotiate a lower price for the property.
And the cost is nominal. A home inspection usually runs between $300 and $500, depending on where you live and the size of the home.
What Does a Home Inspector Do?
A home inspector is a professional that has knowledge about buildings and the systems in them. They take a detailed look at the subject property. This usually lasts between two to five hours, depending on the size of the home.
Then, they compile their findings in a report. It will include a summary of any safety hazards, potential damage, and condition of any appliances being sold with the home, such as the HVAC system. They will make this report available to the client within a few business days.
It is important to note that home inspectors are not experts on every construction or design issue. Their purpose is to give a general report of common issues they find with the home. Their role is not to give expert opinions on why or how the conditions arose.
For instance, a home inspector should be able to identify obvious signs of a sinking foundation or one that is otherwise compromised. They can identify cracks of uneven floors.
But the inspector’s role is not to offer up a detailed assessment of the status of the foundation or how it got that way. In this scenario, you would want to hire a foundation expert to do their own examination and make repair recommendations, including cost estimates.
What Sets a Great Inspector Apart?
There is no such thing as a perfect home. You don’t want a home inspector who finds nothing, but one who will be honest with you. Here are some things to look for.
Some states require home inspectors to be licensed. Look at the laws where you live and ensure you are hiring someone who meets these requirements.
Licensing means that they have achieved the requisite education and experience needed to perform their job properly. You can expect these individuals to exceed expectations.
If your state does not mandate licensing, check to see if the inspector has membership in one of the major home inspection associations. You also might look at online reviews about other people’s experiences with the company. And a prominent home inspector will be happy to provide you with referrals.
A good question to ask when hiring a home inspector is their experience with the particular type of home you are buying. If you are purchasing an older home, you don’t want someone who has only worked with new construction. You need a home inspector who has investigated galvanized water lines and who knows where to look for asbestos.
A good home inspector will go over every detail of the house. From windows to doors, to ensuring that every faucet runs properly. They should examine all spaces in the home, including the attic and basement.
It is a good idea to meet your inspector at the house while this is taking place. It allows you to ask questions in real-time about what they find.
A good home inspector should welcome your presence on-site. If, for some reason, an inspector doesn’t want you present, this should be cause for alarm.
A good inspector will take copious pictures of the property and include them in a report they give you. At this point, you should feel free to email or call them with any follow-up questions about their findings. Also, you can view sample reports online, to get a sense of what they should look like.
Ask them about the turn-around for delivering the report. You want them to be thorough, but also as expeditious as possible.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, you can expect a report with 24 to 48 hours after the inspection. If an inspector cannot give you a guaranteed time for delivering the information, you might think about going with someone else.
Remember They Work for You
Your real estate agent will most likely be looped into any conversations about the report, but make sure they have a copy. Your agent also may be able to provide some insight into the report’s findings.
Your agent may recommend a home inspector, but it may be the best idea to find one on your own. And remember that the home inspector works for you, not the homeowner or your real estate agent. They are there to make sure you make an informed decision about purchasing the property.
Find Inspectors Who Exceed Expectations
Now that you have a sense of what qualities to look for in an inspector, you can avoid a home inspection nightmare and find a qualified professional. Buying a home is a big deal. Have the peace of mind that you know everything there is to know about the property you’re purchasing.
At CLASS Home Inspection, we have more than 30 years of experience in the business. We provide detailed reports and go the extra mile for our clients. We will exceed expectations by ensuring that we address all your questions and concerns throughout the entire process.
We make the inspection scheduling process easy for you, and will provide a quick turn-around on reporting. And we are willing to spend as much time as necessary ensuring that you understand everything in the home inspection report.