You’ve found your perfect home and put in an offer. Before closing, though, you have to get a home inspection to make sure your potential new home is safe for you and your family. But what do they look for during a home inspection? We’re going to break down all of the need-to-knows about a home inspection to you can feel prepared for the good and the bad.
A home inspection happens before you close on a home, and an inspector (or inspectors) will make their way to the property to evaluate several aspects of the house. It gives you, as the buyer, an idea of the condition of the home. For some buyers, the inspection can make or break their decision to purchase the home. No matter how sound a home may appear on the outside, there may be hidden problems that would cost the new buyer thousands of dollars to fix. The home inspection will give you the buyer peace of mind that you are purchasing a safe and sturdy home.
What should I do before the inspection?
The first thing to accomplish is to hire a certified home inspector. You should expect to pay between $400-$600 for the inspection, which is typically included in the closing costs so you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
You must feel comfortable with the professional that you choose to complete the home inspection. To do this, you should ask for references, their credentials (including any associations they may belong to), as well as inspection reports. Also, check to make sure they are insured. Also, you can check with your real estate agent and your OVM Financial loan officer for home inspectors they recommend. If you have a family member in the construction trade who is willing to inspect the home thoroughly, you may not need to hire a home inspector.
What will the home inspection include (and not include)?
The inspection will dive into the home’s physical components. The areas your home inspection will cover include, but aren’t limited to:
- Basement/crawl spaces
- Attic, including insulation
- Interior electrical
- Interior walls
- Door frames
- Heating and cooling system
Remember, a home inspection is only a checkup on these areas to ensure proper functioning and safety, and the home inspector will look at the general condition of each.
A home inspection will not include searching for wood damage from pests and termites or other hazards such as mold and toxins, but you can consult experts in those fields for additional inspections.
Be prepared if the inspector reveals imperfections
If you’re not purchasing a brand-new home, odds are, something will come up during your home inspection. Keep in mind, however, that just because something is flagged, it doesn’t make the home unlivable. Home inspectors are not experts on particular areas of the home, but they may flag something because it’s older, and it may be wise to get it inspected by an expert. Work with your agent to determine which flags are normal and which ones to address immediately. Once you’ve compiled a list of areas in the home that will need repairs, your agent can negotiate with the seller on what the seller will repair and what they won’t. Your list will give you an idea of how much you may have to spend on repairs if you choose to go forward with the sale.
The bottom line
A home inspection is an extremely important step in the home buying process that can ensure you’re making a purchase that won’t cost you thousands in unexpected repairs. Understanding how it works and what to expect can help give you peace of mind during the inspection process.
As always, we’re here to answer any questions you have and help guide you through the process. Give us a call or start your application today.