One crucial part of the home-buying process is the home inspection. Once you find a home you are interested in making an offer on, you'll need to hire an inspector to look for potential problems with the structure. If you've never hired a home inspector before, here are a few things you can expect from the process.
Hiring The Inspector
Hiring the inspector is the responsibility of the buyer. You'll want to look for a licensed inspector with experience to conduct the official inspection of the home. In some cases, your lender may have a person it prefers to work with. Your Realtor may also be able to refer you to a reputable inspector working in your area. You may want to meet with the inspector beforehand, as this gives you a chance to make sure you are comfortable with the person who is helping to inform your home purchase decision.
Attending The Inspection
You do have the right to attend the inspection of your potential new home. This gives you a chance to ask questions during the process, such as how labor-intensive some repairs might be to perform on your own. Be sure to take the time to listen, and try not to interfere as he or she goes through the inspection checklist. Remember that the inspector will only inspect the actual home unless otherwise stipulated ahead of time. This means that any additional buildings on the property, such as tool sheds, won't be a part of the home inspection process.
Reading The Inspection Report
Reading the inspection report can sometimes be confusing for buyers, particularly those who have never purchased a home before. You can ask your inspector to clear up any confusing points, and you should go over the report in detail with your Realtor. The information contained in the report can help you to determine whether or not you want to walk away from the home. In some cases where severe damage is detected, such as structural damage or a serious pest infestation, you may decide to look for a different home instead. For homes that need minor repairs, the inspection report can help you to negotiate the final cost of the home. Perhaps the seller would be willing to perform minor repairs for the asking price on the home, or maybe they might be willing to reduce the cost of the home by the amount any necessary repairs are expected to cost.
While having a home inspection isn't always required by law, it's a good idea to have one performed. Mortgage lenders may require the inspection, but buyers paying with cash may not have to. Whether you are required to or not, having an inspection done gives you a unique look at the status of the property you wish to purchase.
Talk to a realtor for more ideas on how to make the home-buying process easier.