When looking for a new home, falling in love with a place is only step one. Responsible buyers know that there could be serious problems lurking under the surface. That’s why it’s so important to get a home inspection prior to signing on that dotted line.
Hiring a home inspector is a great step to making sure you’re not investing in a property that will cost you tons of money in future repairs. But how do you make sure that your home inspector covers everything you need to know about your future home? Here are some great tips to protect you during the inspection process.
Do Your Own Inspection First
You might not be able to spot everything a professional will, but it’s a good place to start. Go through the house, noting any potential problems you see. It might be a good idea to bring someone along who won’t be living in the house. They will have an unbiased perspective and could notice things that you don’t.
From your own checklist notes, write down any questions you want to make sure to ask the inspector. Is that crack in the wall a serious problem? Is it an easy fix to reseal the windows? Should I be worried about that leaky pipe under the sink? If you’ve done your own walkthrough, you’ll have a much better idea of what repairs you might need to make. The inspector can give you useful advice and estimates on potential repairs.
Hire a Professional
Make sure the home inspector you hire is competent and reputable. A home inspection license means that the inspector passed the bare minimum of requirements. To many professionals, that simply isn’t enough. Don’t worry, though. There are ways to make sure that the home inspector you hire is a true professional who can provide a quality inspection.
There are a few national home inspection associations and several state inspection organizations. These associations certify home inspectors at the highest standards. Their members have to pass comprehensive home inspection exams, as well as fulfill other membership qualifications. Use the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) websites to search for qualified home inspectors in your area.
Attend the Inspection
Hire a home inspector who will let you walk through the inspection with them. You should also get a copy of their inspection to compare with the one you did on your own. Did you miss anything? Did the inspector agree with your assessment of potential problem areas? Be sure to ask questions as you go, and make a note of any necessary repairs.
Your lending provider usually has some guidelines on the format of the home inspection. Make sure that the report your home inspector gives you is in compliance with your lender’s standards. When you have the inspection report, compile all the necessary repairs from your independent inspection and the inspection report. Tally up the potential costs. This will give you a clear picture of whether or not this home is worth your investment.