Posted by Gail | Filed under Home Buying
While I was shooting the TDDUP Home Editions, I noticed an alarming trend among the people I was working with: they skip a home inspection or, having had one done, they completely ignore the report. Whazzup with that?
It makes no sense to put good money down without getting a professional opinion on the property you’re considering. It is very important that you get a GOOD home inspector. If you’ve watch Mike Holmes, you know that inspectors are a dime a dozen and some of them are downright awful. But a good one can help you feel confident in laying down your buck-sixty-two.
‘Course, home inspectors won’t find everything. First of all they don’t have psychic powers so they can’t see behind walls. And if there’s been a recent mold cleanup just ahead of the inspection, there may be no signs of that. Mice droppings under floorboards won’t be spotted either.
But working with a good inspector means you’ll get a heads-up on what will need replacing, when, and approximately what it will cost. That’ll help you decide what you’ll need to set aside for home maintenance. If there’s a big cost coming, like the replacement of a roof or furnace, you can use that information to negotiate the sales price down. (Yeah, I know, not gonna happen in a seller’s market. But at least you’ll know there’s more money going out the door in the not too distant future so you can plan for it.)
When you’re hiring a home inspector know that they come in various shades and styles: from highly educated and accredited to not so much. Ask about their experience. Check to see if they are members of associations. And ask to see what their inspection report looks like before you buy from them. You do get what you pay for; if you’re coughing up less than $350 for your home inspection on a 3,000 sq. ft. home, you’re probably not getting the best advice.
Your home inspection should take three to four hours. You should be present every step of the way. And you should end up with a very detailed report that shows all the deficiencies and comments on all the features of your home that may need attention.
If you have children, hire a home inspector that has some environmental and child-safety experience. While neither environmental nor child safety issues are typically covered in a home inspection (you usually have to hire specialists for this) if your home inspector has some experience, they could at least let you know that you need to go the next step. And as you walk around with them ask every question that pops into your head. Don’t worry about looking stupid. You’re never going to see this man or woman again. Suck every drop of info that you can out of the inspection experience.
At the end of the day, the home inspection should provide you with peace of mind in terms of the big things that need to be addressed when you’re buying a property. Depending on the season, there may be things you just can’t check. When I turned on my outside taps in the spring, my inside line was leaking. But there was no way for the home inspector I worked with to know this since I bought the house in the dead of winter. I just sucked it up and got it fixed.
Need more information and have questions? Contact C4U Inspections today