Philip & Hrono Partners' Blog
Getting a professional inspection is one of the most important parts of closing on a home. An inspection can save you endless time and money if it catches repairs that need to be made, and it can draw your attention to any problems that could be dangerous to you and your family.
Many buyers, especially those who are buying a home for the first time, aren’t sure what to expect during a home inspection. They might have questions that they’re afraid to ask the inspector, or they might feel like they should be asking questions but don’t know the right ones to ask.
In this article, we’ll give you the rundown on the home inspection process. We’ll explain how to get started, what to expect on inspection day, and what to do with your findings.
Before closing on a home, it’s important to make sure your offer involves a contingency clause, otherwise known as a “due diligence contingency.” This section of your contract gives you the right to perform a home inspection within a given number of days.
Sellers may inform you that they have recently had the home inspected and even offer to show you the results of the inspection. However, it is best practice to have your own inspection performed with a trusted professional.
After your offer is accepted, you should begin calling and getting quotes from inspectors immediately.
Before the inspection
Once you’ve considered your options of inspectors and chosen an inspector, it’s time to schedule your inspection. Both you and your real estate agent should attend the inspection.
You’ll both have the opportunity to ask questions. However, it’s a good idea to write down your minor questions and ask them before or after the inspection so that the professional you’ve hired is able to focus on their work to do the best possible job inspecting your future home.
During the inspection
The inspection itself is pretty straightforward. Your inspector will examine the exterior and interior of your home, including several vital components and then will provide you with a report of their findings.
They will inform you of repairs that need to be made now, parts of the home that should be monitored for future repairs, and anything that poses a safety concern to you and your family.
The parts of your home the inspector will review include:
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning
There are some things your inspection won’t include. For example, mold, termite damage, and other issues that aren’t easily observable without causing damage might be missed by your inspector and will require a specialist.
After the inspection
Once the inspection is complete, you will have the chance to ask any remaining questions. You can review the findings of your inspection report and make decisions about how you want to handle any repairs that need to be made.
You may choose to ask the seller to make the repairs noted in your inspection report. If they refuse, you can withdraw from your contract at any time.
Ultimately, the choice will be yours what to do with the findings from the inspection. But having one can save you immeasurable money on impending repairs that you may not have been aware of.
Although a home seller has already accepted your home offer, you'll want to employ a diligent home inspector to examine a residence before you finalize a purchase agreement. By doing so, you can identify any potential home problems that you might have missed during an initial house showing. Plus, a home inspection will allow you to find out if a home requires extensive repairs or maintenance and if you'll need to modify or rescind your original offer.
Hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for homebuyers. However, finding the ideal home inspector sometimes can be difficult, particularly for homebuyers who want to speed through the homebuying process.
So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help you do just that:
1. Review a Home Inspector's Qualifications
Learning about a home inspector's experience and skills is paramount. And if you devote the necessary time and resources to understand a home inspector's qualifications, you'll be able to find out if this individual is the right person to assess a residence.
Typically, you should try to find a home inspector who boasts construction and building maintenance expertise. Depending on where your home is located or your residence's condition, you also may need to find a home inspector who understands how to deal with asbestos, lead-based paint and other potentially hazardous conditions.
Be sure to conduct an in-depth evaluation of several home inspectors before you make your final decision. This will enable you to hire a top-notch home inspector who can help you identify and resolve any home issues before you conclude your home purchase.
2. Evaluate Sample Reports from a Home Inspector
Ask a home inspector to provide samples of past home inspection reports – you'll be glad you did! By getting copies of past home inspection assessments, you can better understand how an individual approaches a home inspection.
For example, does a home inspector provide clear information in his or her reports? And does the inspector offer notes that highlight home problems? Take a close look at a home inspector's past reports, and you can find out whether this individual takes a basic or comprehensive approach to his or her work.
3. Get Home Inspector Insights from Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent may prove to be your best resource throughout the homebuying process. As such, your real estate agent can put you in touch with home inspectors who have your best interests in mind and will do everything possible to conduct a thorough inspection of a property.
In many instances, your real estate agent may be able to offer multiple home inspector recommendations. This professional also can provide details about what to expect during a home inspection and how to handle any home problems that you might encounter as part of a home assessment.
A home inspection may seem like a tall task, but with a great home inspector at your disposal, you can improve your chances of obtaining the ideal residence.
Believe it or not, an inspection may make or break a home purchase. And if a homebuyer fails to allocate time and resources to perform a comprehensive inspection, the consequences could be severe.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to conduct an extensive inspection before you finalize a home purchase, and these include:
1. You can identify any underlying structural problems with a house.
A home inspection provides a valuable learning opportunity for a homebuyer. In fact, an inspection can help you identify any underlying structural problems with a house before you complete your purchase.
During a home inspection, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. When the property expert has completed his or her inspection, this professional will provide you with an inspection report.
As a homebuyer, it is important to review all inspection report results closely. With these home insights, you can decide whether to proceed with a house purchase or reenter the real estate market.
2. You can assess the costs associated with various home repairs.
A comprehensive home inspection enables you to learn about a wide range of home problems. After you receive a home inspection report, you can analyze the costs associated with various home repairs as well.
If you find that home repair costs could be substantial, you may want to ask a seller to complete assorted home improvements. Or, you can always request a reduced price for a home due to its condition.
Furthermore, if you are overwhelmed by potential home repairs, it is important to remember that you can still walk away from a home purchase. And at this point, you can restart your home search from square one.
3. You can determine whether a home is a viable long-term investment.
A home generally is a long-term investment, and as such, you should strive to optimize the value of your house purchase. Thanks to a comprehensive home inspection, you'll be in a great position to do just that.
With an in-depth home inspection, you can identify a house's strengths and weaknesses. And if you feel comfortable with a house after an inspection, you can finalize your home purchase and reap the benefits of a successful investment.
When it comes to conducting a home inspection, it helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top local home inspectors to ensure you can receive expert support as you evaluate a residence.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can set up home showings, help you submit offers on houses and much more. As a result, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to enjoy a successful homebuying experience.
Ready to pursue your dream house? Consult with a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you proceed along the homebuying journey.
In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract.
Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement.
The Home Inspection Contingency
This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home.
Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If you’re not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back.
Without this contingency, you’ll never know what’s wrong with the home until you move in it. It’s a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection.
This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you can’t get a loan, you’ll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.
This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, you’re far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems.
The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, you’ll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!
As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.