As a potential home buyer, you know your process can be long, tedious and sometimes confusing. You will have many decisions to make and options from which to choose. One step of the process that sometimes goes overlooked is that of the home inspection. It is not mandatory to have a home inspection, but we recommend choosing an experienced home inspector and checking out the home before you buy it. But, should a buyer be present at the home inspection? We say yes! Today I will be discussing the home inspection process and why you should have one plus how to go about finding a reputable inspector to hire.
Who Does the Home Inspector Work For?
The home inspector works for you, the buyer. When you hire an inspector, their job is to inspect your potential new home before the sale. The inspector will make recommendations on any areas of the home that may require attention or repair. The inspector will focus on areas of safety, functionality, structural condition and equipment integrity. As a buyer, you want the inspection to highlight age and operation of major units, identify unsafe areas and point out to you to any potential repairs that may need to be addressed. You want to understand what major repairs you could be facing. During this process, you should be present at the time of the inspection and ask questions throughout the inspection process. While the realtors and sellers may also be present, remember, the inspector works for you. You will be paying his or her fee (usually based on the size of the home, roughly $300-$500). The resulting report will belong to you and the information included is yours to keep.
Certified vs. Non-Certified Inspectors
There are organizations for home inspectors that regulate standards of practice and usually offer an industry standard code of ethics. NAAHI and InterNACHI are examples of inspection certifications that your hired home inspector could be affiliated with. You can often review their standards of practice, prior to your inspection so you will have a better understanding of what your inspector will be evaluating. Also make sure your inspector has a current state license as well as liability insurance coverage. Before you sign an agreement to hire a home inspector, make sure they are certified. You can visit either of these organization’s websites or research with your local municipality to find certified home inspectors in your area.
What Does A Home Inspector Examine?
Your inspector will focus on 10 principal components of the home.
- Roof – Condition, Leaks, Life Expectancy
- Exterior – Condition of siding/brick, the proximity of bushes or debris, driveway, decks, and sidewalks
- Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure – Structural integrity, water damage, rodents
- Heating – Age and condition of the unit, ductwork, and if servicing is needed
- Cooling – Age and condition of units, and if servicing is needed
- Plumbing – Faucets, water heaters, general inspection of pipes, drains, water lines, and leaks
- Electrical – Fuse box, switches, GFCI outlets, capacity
- Fireplace – Condition, flue, and chimney / chimney cap
- Attic, Insulation & Ventilation – General inspection for adequate insulation, defects, and air flow
- Doors, Windows & Interior – Working conditions, locks, insulation rating
Remember your inspector is not there to actually fix anything. He or she will only be able to review each component and make recommendations to you for anything that a professional contractor may be needed to remedy. The length of time a home inspection can take will vary.
Why Do You Need An Inspection?
A home inspection report is an invaluable tool for a home buyer. From the basement to the roof, the inspector should look over everything in the home. Your report should feature pictures and detailed narratives for each component in the home. Should there be no real pitfalls, significant financial repairs nor safety concerns, you can rest easy knowing that your decision to purchase this home is sound. If there is a need to address serious issues, especially safety related, you now have a certified report to use in your negotiation process to have the seller make the repairs or adjust the selling price.
As a home buyer, hiring a certified home inspector to perform a home inspection is an invaluable tool. The more you know about the property you’re considering, the better prepared you are to negotiate and make your buying decisions.
For more tips and information on the home inspection process, or to find your next dream home, let us know!
Venture One Realty has recognized that Connecticut Homeowners need and want a way to keep more of their hard earned equity when selling their home. Our Clients save Thousands of Dollars without sacrificing the services that are critical to maximizing the sale price of their home. We offer all the same MLS exposure, marketing tools, technology, quality of service, expertise, and personal attention as the Other Realty Companies but without the costly Real Estate Commission. You pay only 1%.
We are a full service Real Estate Agency that will manage the entire home selling process from listing to closing. You get everything you would expect from a traditional Real Estate Agent but with the added benefit of working with a technology enabled and customer focused team of Agents. Our results speak for themselves.
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