First things first, when you decide to buy a home, you will need a home inspection performed by a professional, third-party company. During this inspection, the professional will evaluate the home from a structural standpoint, as well as ensure that you’re buying an up-to-code, hazardous free property that will be a good investment of your money.
Home inspections are not always required, although there are a couple of cases where you would want to have one for extra protection. In this article, we will go over the basic necessities that a home inspection process should cover.
Include the home inspection in your contract
The first step you need to do is make sure you have a home inspection contingency in your home-buying contract. This will give you a specific time period that you must have a professional inspection completed for the property.
If the inspection comes back and reveals anything negative, you can then use that as a bargaining tool with the seller to try and get them to lower the price. Having the contingency also allows you the option to back out of the deal if the home’s issues are too serious or you are unable to come to an agreement with the seller on the repairs.
Understand your home inspection contingency
During this period, you should have enough time to:
Hire a trusted inspector
Set up and attend your first meeting appointment
Receive the inspection report
Handle any additional or follow-up inspections
Decide your plan of action
Make sure that you keep track of time during this period. Once the contingency time has passed, you won’t be able to renegotiate or take any further action based on the inspection results.
Make sure your inspector thoroughly inspects the home’s HVAC and plumbing systems
Sure, the structure of the home and foundation are very important. But what is also very important that is sometimes overlooked are the HVAC and plumbing systems of the house. These are 2 key players that can make or break a home selling deal.
While in the attic, the inspector should take a look at the ductwork, as well as the chimney, if there is one, while they are on the roof. If there is a chimney and any issues are noted, this may require a more specialized inspection on the house.
The plumbing inspection inside of the home will have to cover all facets of exposed plumbing. This means all drains, faucets, toilets, tubs, and even the pipes below the sink. A general home inspector will not be able to cover things such as water wells, septic tanks or sewers, so if your home has one of these, a specialized inspection may be needed.
Hire a trusted home inspector
This may be the most essential step of the entire process. Make sure to hire a trusted, experienced home inspector. All of their certifications should be current and up-to-date on all training and education.
Your inspector should also be fully insured and have extensive knowledge in the area you are buying the home in. This will protect you if they become injured while on your property and ensures that they are aware of any problems pertaining to soil, pests, and home building codes in your area.
You can use websites such as Google, Home Advisor, Yelp, Angie’s List, and BBB to look up the reputation of your potential inspector. Be on the lookout for high ratings from previous customers and also be on the lookout for multiple negative customer ratings. You can also ask your local real estate agent for recommendations on home inspectors.
Read your inspection report
Reading your inspection report is so important and will lead you into the next steps of purchasing your home. You will know whether to try and negotiate any deals with the seller, or in some cases, back out of the deal completely If the issues are too big.
Isabella Cormier is the communications specialist and editor for Buddy’s A-1 Air Conditioning and Heating, a professional HVAC company located in Baton Rouge, LA. Isabella has been writing about the home service business for six years and enjoys giving advice that helps homeowners get the most out of their homes. At Buddy’s, we never lose sight of the fact that our mission is to earn your business, on each and every job.