Utilizing Your Home Inspection

Home inspections are a crucial part of any home purchase. Many buyers base their purchase offer on the results of a home inspection. In the real estate market, getting a home inspection is a smart choice for someone who want to buy a home. Here are a few tips as to how to get the full use out of a home inspection.

A Home Inspection is Not an Appraisal

Though both home appraisals and home inspections look at many of the same things, an appraisal is paid for by lenders to help them make correct decisions so that a loan is not more than the property is worth. A home inspection is a detailed, hands-on evaluation of the property typically paid for by the buyer and can cost between $300 and $500, depending on the size of the property being inspected.

A home inspector will crawl through the attic and crawl spaces to make sure there are no hidden problems that could become unpleasant surprises for a buyer after they move in. They will evaluate the safety and structural integrity of the property. Your realtor can recommend a home inspector, but you should make sure the home inspector you do use is knowledgeable about the local real estate and is fully qualified.

What to Do Before a Home Inspection:

  • Look over the interior and exterior of the property yourself
  • Create a list of things you would like the inspector to review
  • Have questions for the inspector on how to fix/maintain the property

What to Do During a Home Inspection

While your inspector is checking for major issues such as a leaky roof, foundation problems, mold, and others, you should use this time to learn how to take care of the home and its interworking systems.

Find out where the water shutoff valve is as well as ask the inspector how to maintain the property. Many home inspectors can tell you the life expectancy of your household appliances so you can avoid being caught off-guard when it is time to replace something like the water heater. A good inspector will also be able to point out small repairs that should be made after you move into the property.

If the inspector finds any kind of major problem with the home you intend to buy, you’ll need to consult with your Realtor to decide how to best handle the problem. Depending on what the inspection reveals, you may need to negotiate whether you want the seller to fix the problem, get a credit at settlement, or cash to make the repairs after you movie in.

For more details on home inspections, check out these articles from realtor.com “Make the Most of Your Home Inspection” and “Know the Difference Between Appraisals and Home Inspections.”

By Linda Moore


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