5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Home Inspection
Contrary to what you may see in movies and on your favorite real estate show, a home inspection’s purpose is not to go through another round of exhausting negotiations. The inspection is a lot more valuable than you think, especially when you know how to really get the most out of it.
- Hire an Impartial Third Party – Your friend, who is a builder, offers to inspect the home for you for much less than you would pay a professional. So, do you jump on it? It may sound very tempting, but this is never a good idea. You need an impartial party. A friend is more likely to be a little overly excited or too critical. Plus, what happens if they miss a significant flaw that you end up paying for later? This could put a bit of a damper on your friendship.
- Write a List of Questions and Concerns – You have probably been through the house multiple times, so you likely have already had some questions and concerns arise. Write these down. There is little chance you will remember them all when you actually have time to get them addressed.
- Bring Property Disclosures – If the local building department has supplied you with documents or if you have received property disclosures from the seller bring them along. Provide the inspector with these before they start. This is also the best time to go over your list of questions. This way, you are not interrupting or distracting them during the process.
- Ask to Shadow – There are inspectors who really do not want you tagging along. Every time you ask a question they have to answer, and then then have to remember where they were at before being interrupted. Plus, the process can take considerably longer. If you do want to tag along, ask them ahead of time when you schedule the inspection. This way they will know to leave a little more time between appointments. They may even tell you no, and give you the opportunity to hire someone else.
- Create a To-Do List – Take everything you learn during the inspection and create a to-do list. When you buy a used car, you take it to your mechanic to get a list of everything that should be fixed in the near future instead of waiting for these things to break completely, so why wouldn’t you take the same approach with your home? Your inspector may tell you the pump to your well is ready to be retired and that you will probably need a new roof in a couple years. At least you will know what repairs to tackle first.
A home inspection should not be looked at as “one more expense” you need to squeeze into your budget. The information obtained during the process allows you to get more familiar with your future home, so you can address concerns before they become huge problems.