Buying a home involves many different processes, one of which is closing on a home, and getting your potential new abode inspected. Although an inspection doesn’t seem like something that could affect you much during the home buying process, making mistakes during this process can cost you big bucks a few years down the road.
Why? A home inspection that points out the major defects in a home can be used to reduce the price of a home or make the seller fix the problems before selling the house to you, the buyer. If a home inspector misses a major defect on the inspection or you don’t follow through with getting the problems in the home fixed, it could cost you thousands of dollars of your own money getting the defects repaired or replaced down the line.
You can save yourself stress and money by making sure you don’t make these mistakes:
Not Getting a Home Inspection
Depending on your mortgage lender, you may not be required to get a home inspection. Purchasing a home without a home inspection isn’t illegal, but it’s not recommended. No matter what home you’re buying, how old it is or how many times it’s been remodeled, you should get a home inspection. If you don’t, you won’t know what state the home’s systems and appliances are in, and you won’t be able to discount the price of the home or plan for possible break downs and repairs.
Not Hiring the Right Inspector
Hire an Inspector Who Will be Neutral
An inspector is one of the only people in a real estate transaction that isn’t paid based on how much the home sells for, so you should hire someone who will give you a neutral point of view when looking at the state of the home. A home inspector who has been recommended by a realtor is probably trustworthy, but they could be glazing over real problems in their reports to keep the home at a certain price. For this same reason, you should never have the seller hire and pay the home inspector. There are just too many ethical barriers that could be broken.
Hire an Inspector Who Meets Certain Qualifications
Unfortunately, there aren’t laws in every state regarding home inspections and the qualifications that an individual needs t become a home inspector. According to The National Association of Home Inspectors, 15 states do not have any legislation about home inspections. You should hire someone is a part of a home inspector group that has specific ethical guidelines they follow. You should also see if the inspector has errors and omissions insurance so in case they miss something, you won’t have your hands tied.
Hire an Inspector Who Will Look into Every Part of the Home
Much like the lack of legislation on who can be an inspector, only half of the states in the US have specific rules on what should be inspected and what shouldn’t during a home inspection. Make sure you hire someone who will look into all of the parts of a home you want them to inspect. Don’t be afraid to ask them for a sample report to see what types of things they normally check.
Getting Work Done by the Inspector You Hired
Although most inspectors are trustworthy individuals, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t hire the same inspector to repair the problems they find in your future home. This can also cause ethical problems. In fact, inspectors who are a part of the American Society of Home Inspectors aren’t allowed to repair, replace or upgrade any of the systems they inspect for a year after inspection.
Not Attending the Inspection
Another mistake that you could make is not attending the home inspection. By attending the home inspection you’ll be able to see the problems as the inspector finds them, and learn more about the inner workings of your future home.
Not Following Up on the Inspection
When you receive the inspection report, you should read it thoroughly and go through it with your realtor. This is when you should follow up on the report. First, hire multiple inspectors that have areas of expertise on the specific systems in the home that have defects. These experts can help you know what kind of problems you’re looking at if you buy the home and how much money you’re going to spend fixing them. Then, take this information to negotiations with the seller to see if the seller wants to fix the defects or lower the price of the home so you can foot the bill.
By avoiding these mistakes, you will end up with a home that’s in better shape, and you will have more money in your pocket. Plus, with a home inspection, the home warranty that may have come on your home will be even more useful. Home warranties can use the home inspection report to see what the state of the home was in when it was purchased, and a home warranty can help you repair or replace your failed systems and appliances for a deductible between $50 and $100.
Featured photo credit: Landmark Home Warranty via landmarkhw.com