Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

Dot Your I’s And Cross Your T’s: Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

So you’re buying a house? First, congratulations are in order. Give yourself a big old pat on the back. Are you done? Alright, now it’s time to get down to business. The first, and debatably only, thing you really need to know when buying a house is that there’s an assortment of steps you need to take before you can finally rest. One of these tedious steps is getting a home inspection.

Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a home inspection isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. Far from it, actually. But when it comes to either buying or selling a home, it is an absolute necessity. The idea may seem daunting, especially if it’s the first time having a home inspection. But there’s no need to fear because when you break it down into smaller pieces, the process of a home inspection is as simple as ABC.

It’s Official!: Making The Home Inspection Legitimate

Nothing is official until it’s in writing. This is a universal truth that is used within every form of business. So, of course, the same goes for home inspections. It is absolutely imperative that you make sure it is written into some form of contract when having a home inspection. Most of the time, buyers will edit this into their contract as something that’s called a contingency clause. This essentially is an action or condition that must be met to be binding for the contract.

This clause is also beneficial to the buyer of the house because it can give them a specific time frame to have a home inspection on their prospective house. The clause makes the home inspection official and accountable, but it allows the buyer to use it as leverage for negotiating price. And who doesn’t want to save a few bucks when they can?

Reach For The Stars. Or, on Second Thought Don’t: Keep Expectations Low

Everyone wants the perfect home. It’s what we all dream of when we grow up and plan out our futures. But unless you find the home of Tony Soprano or Don Draper, you’re more likely going to end up with something more like Roseanne’s. This is why it’s important to keep realistic expectations when it comes to your home inspection. The worst mistake any potential buyer can make is expecting their home inspection to go flawlessly without a single flaw noticed. This is almost never the case.

There’s also the notion of the home inspection itself not covering every square inch of the house. While most home inspections are incredibly detailed and thorough, they don’t always capture every nook and cranny that the house holds. Sometimes they miss something as minuscule as a section of paint peeling from the bedroom wall, or maybe they miss the tiny faucet leak in the guest bathroom. No matter what it is, don’t expect every home inspection to be airtight.

Ask, Ask, Ask: Asking Questions Through Your Home Inspection

Everyone always made fun of the kid who asked question after question in seventh-grade biology. But you want to know a little secret? That kid made a higher grade than the rest of the class. It’s because they asked all those questions and learned from all those answers. If you don’t ask questions about topics you don’t know about, how do you expect to ever learn about them? This is why it is essential to ask question after question during your home inspection.

No matter how small or big your question is, it’s always important to know what is wrong with your potential house and what it is you’re exactly paying for. You wouldn’t waste money on a movie you hadn’t seen the trailer for, would you? This is the same principle when it comes to buying a home and having a home inspection. Don’t be afraid to annoy your home inspector, either. It’s their job to walk you through the process step by step.

 

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What And Where: Understanding The Process Of A Home Inspection

It’s no secret that there’s a substantial amount of money that can be made when it comes to flipping houses. Yes, some may be self-destructive money pits, but most are well-established homes that can be flipped for a lucrative profit. While the prospect of flipping one’s home for a profit may sound enticing, it’s actually a painstakingly long process that requires a lot of work and a lot of patience. 

 

One of the necessary components in flipping a home is the purchase of a home inspection. Just as its name suggests, a home inspection is simply just an in-depth inspection of one’s property. This allows for any problems or issues the house may have to be properly examined and fixed. But what actually goes into the process of a home inspection? 

 

Back To The Basics: What To Expect From A Home Inspection 

There are many components that come with a home inspection. Professionals are careful to pay attention to things such as a home’s heating system or central air conditioning system. While the inspector won’t tear apart your home, it’s important to give them as much room and space to work with in order to get a more in-depth report on the ins and outs of your home. Think of your home inspector as a doctor for your house. 

These inspections usually last around three or four hours, and it is absolutely crucial that you attend the inspection so you can get a better understanding of your home. During these inspections, the inspector will take into account a multitude of factors, such as the viability of the home’s walls, roof, and even floors. This allows for a more thorough inspection and a more conclusive report. 

 

Batteries Not Included: What All Comes With A Home Inspection 

A home inspection is an in-depth process that includes many moving pieces. During a normal home inspection, the inspector will analyze both the home’s interior and exterior, drawing conclusions on multiple factors such as water damage, structural issues, and even piping and plumbing. While there are multiple aspects that a home inspector takes into account, they do not examine any cosmetics of the home unless they find it to be a safety hazard. For example, inspectors will report on cracks or water stains but won’t report something such as paint peeling. 

 

Ultimately, a home inspection evaluates the safety of the home while also determining the home’s worth and overall value. Through this simple yet demanding process, the homeowner is able to truly understand the worth of the home they are planning to sell. 

 

Under The Magnifying Glass: What To Look For During A Home Inspection

A home inspection is an incredibly important part of flipping a home, so it’s absolutely crucial that you are completely hands-on when it comes to your home inspection. By being present for your home inspection, you are allowing yourself to see firsthand everything you need to fix or change in order to sell your home successfully. You will also be given a chance to ask any questions or raise any concerns to the inspector. This will give you a better understanding of what you need to fix about your home.

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Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

When it comes to selling your home one of the last major hurdles is the home inspection. Once you have an interested buyer, they will have a home inspector come take a look at the property. 

A basic home inspection includes an evaluation of 10 different areas of the home: structure, exterior, roofing system, plumbing system including the water heater, electrical system, heating system, air conditioning system (HVAC system), interior, insulation and ventilation, and fireplaces.

This process can be a little daunting for the homeowner so here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared and ensure the process moves smoothly.

 

Step One:

Prepare the interior of your home. The home inspector will check everything inside your home. Ensure that the home inspector can access everything in your home. Check to see if there are any large pieces of furniture, boxes or other clutter blocking access to things like the water heater. Inspect your light bulbs make sure none of them have gone out. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly. Plug in all of your appliances. Make sure your HVAC filter has been recently replaced. Check for leaky or dripping faucets. It’s also helpful to do a general cleaning of your home, dust surfaces, vacuum the floors and put away any extraneous clutter. 

 

Step Two:

Go ahead and check the gutters and the roof before the inspector comes. It’s a good idea to clean debris from gutters and check for any roof damage. Make sure to fix things you may have temporarily repaired and check for any obvious, visible damage. It’s also a good idea to do a general walkthrough of your home to spot any water damage.

 

Step Three: 

Prepare the exterior of your home for the inspector. Make sure there is around a foot of clearance between the siding and shrubs, bushes, or vegetation. Visually inspect your home’s siding and trim and repair any damage you spot. Check the operation of any exterior doors, locks and deadbolts and double check that your garage is functioning as normal. If there are any holes or gaps on the exterior have them fixed. Also check for any exposed nails or other exterior hardware. Remove any stored items that are kept against the side of the house, as with the interior, make sure the home inspector will be able to access and inspect everything they need to. 

 

Step Four:

Be on time. The inspector will be there on time and so should you. It’s best to not create any delays because you aren’t prepared for their arrival. Also, don’t stick around. The homeowner should not be present during the inspection. It’s best if you leave the potential buyer and inspector to themselves so that they are able to point out potential defects and the buyer can ask any questions. Also be sure to bring your furry friends with you so they aren’t in the way!

 

With these tips you can make your home selling process move smoothly! The inspection can be a nerve-wracking time, but if you know what to expect, and take these tips to heart it will help put you at ease. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be sure to make the process easy for everyone involved!

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Benefits of a Home Inspection

You may be wondering, why do I need a home inspection? Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for a buyer to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. It is essential for the buyer to uncover any problematic issues.

Homes inspections can be used as a contingency in your contract with the person selling the home. A home inspection contingency is an addendum to the offer contract that allows the buyer to conduct an inspection and then back out of the deal if they are unsatisfied with the findings. In a competitive sellers’ market, buyers can waive their right to an inspection to make their deal more appealing.

It’s good practice to always get a home inspection.

Home inspections will cost a little time and a little money, but can save you from many other problems down the line. Home inspections also afford you the opportunity to learn more about the home you are purchasing as many inspectors will allow you to accompany them as they inspect your home.

For problems large or small, you can ask the seller to fix them, reduce the purchase price, or to give you a cash credit at closing to fix the problems yourself. In this way, home inspection often can pay for themselves. Most every inspection will uncover a few issues, even new builds will have small problems that need to be remedied.

Inspections typically cover:

  • Exterior (including grading drainage and vegetation impacting the dwelling}.
  • Roof and gutter system (including the attic)
  • Kitchen (All appliances will be inspected and operated where applicable)
  • Bathrooms
  • All interior rooms
  • Basements and/or crawlspaces
  • Plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Heating and Air conditioning systems
  • Structural and foundation system
  • Ventilation and exhaust systems

Why do impending home sales fall through?

If a home inspection doesn’t go well, can a home still sell? A home inspection isn’t pass/fail and the seller is not obligated to fix any issues uncovered. However, if the inspection uncovers issues that the buyer feels are too extensive — such as mold, foundational issues or roof damage — they might use a home inspection contingency to back out of the deal.

It’s good practice to consider making big updates prior to listing your home for sale. You can also increase your chances of closing if you disclose major issues upfront.

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 7 Tips for Choosing A Home Inspector

Finding the right home inspector for you can be a difficult decision. Below are seven tips to make the process easier and less overwhelming.

 

1. Get a reference

 

It is always worthwhile to ask for references when you are hiring a service, and home inspectors are no exception. First, you can go to friends and family for recommendations. Ask them who they went to for home inspection and what their experience was like. Another great resource for choosing  a home inspector should be your Realtor. Do you know your real estate agent well and trust them? If so, realtors can be a great asset for recommendations. Chances are they have seen many people go through the home buying process and may have great advice when it comes to selecting a home inspector.

Next, you can ask for references from your home inspection candidates’ prior clients. Ideally, you want to get new references from at least a few different clients. You can ask each customer about his or her experience with the inspection company. Did the inspector seem knowledgeable? Did he or she turn up on time? Was the report comprehensive and relatively easy to understand?

 

2 . Verify that the inspection company only does inspections – not home repairs and renovations.

 

Hiring someone that just does inspections is an important tip for finding the right home inspector. It is important to try an avoid any conflicts of interest. If your home inspector also sells repair and renovation services means they may have motive to invent problems where there are none. 

Your home inspection should be an objective process. You should expect your home inspector to provide their opinion on the state of the house, not a soft sell on renovation or repair services. 

 

3. Verify that you can accompany the inspector while he or she goes through the home.

 

While you are not required to go along for the inspection, it is in your interest to do so. A good inspector will want prospective owners to be present at the inspection. They can explain your house’s systems and how they work. This will be helpful once you receive the inspection report. Tagging along will also offer you an opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications.

 

4. Ask about  overall experience. 

 

Enquire how long the home inspector has been in the inspection business. Also ask for a ballpark on how many homes they have inspected. Experienced home inspectors won’t be offhand or blasé about their knowledge and you want to make sure that they are informed and well-versed in their subject. It can also be valuable to ask about their experience with different types of homes. If you are looking at historic homes or any type of specialty home, try to find an inspector with some experience in the type of home you are buying. 

 

5. Check to see if they are certified by professional organizations.

Hiring someone who’s certified by a professional organization can give you a bit more assurance that the inspector is knowledgeable. 

Certifications are just a small part of being a good inspector. But you should ask if the inspector is a member of ASHI, NAHI, InterNACHI or any other professional inspectors group. Among the requirements for certification from ASHI, for instance, candidates must pass an in-person National Home Inspector Examination and document that they’ve done at least 250 paid home inspections. 

At Sound Structure Home Inspection, we have numerous licenses and certifications related to inspection and construction.

 

6. Verify what will not be included in the inspection and how to find the condition of those items 

 

Different home inspectors have different policies and items that they guarentee to inspect. Make sure you ask what won’t be included and how to find out the condition of those items. The worst can happen if you were under the impression that something was inspected and find out down the line that it was not. Problems that arise after the fact can be costly and time consuming.

Also, a great home inspector will also go over general maintenance of the major components in the home. While their primary function is discovering significant structural and mechanical defects, a home inspector can be a fantastic resource for educating you on how a home should work properly.

 

7. Research

Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions of prospective inspectors. A great home inspector will take the time to explain their policies and process to you.

 

At Sound Structure we feel that a home inspector should have extensive construction and trade background before moving into inspections. Twenty years of construction, maintenance management and HVAC before opening in Florida in 2000. After 5000 inspections, we are now located in Georgia. The time it takes to perform a thorough inspection varies by size, age and type of home. We take our time in performing the inspection, explaining our findings to the customer and preparing the report.

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Common Problems Found During Home Inspections

Buying a home can be a stressful and exciting time. Once you have gone through the process of near endless house hunting you may be tempted to skip the home inspection. However, many homes that look aesthetic on the surface could be hiding a whole host of problems underneath. Whether it’s a brand new build or a fixer-upper, getting a home inspection is one of the most important processes a new homeowner will undergo. Below we’ve detailed some of the most common issues uncovered during a home inspection.
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Welcome & Introduction
Welcome & Introduction
Welcome & Introduction

Welcome & Introduction

As an inspector that had construction and trade experience before I opened my inspection company, I have paid attention to this argument over the years. In a perfect world the potential buyer would bring a Mechanical Engineer, General Contractor with structural experience, Master electrician, Master plumber, WDO (Termite) inspector, Pool contractor, Roofer, Air quality inspector and most importantly a highly skilled Administrative Assistant to take the information from all these and place in one easy to comprehend report.
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