Congratulations, you are embarking on one of the most exciting experiences in life! However, we know first-time home buying can also be incredibly stressful. One of the most significant aspects of your home purchase will be the inspection. A home inspection can reveal unforeseen things to you about a home which may make or break a home investment so we have put together our favorite tips when it comes to this process.
Tip #1 – Hire A Professional Home Inspector
Finding a qualified home inspector can be like finding a needle in a haystack, which can leave you overwhelmed with options. You can start by getting recommendations from your Realtor®, family, and friends as a good starting point. Mortgage brokers, title and insurance companies may also be helpful. Check online and read reviews. Above all, make your own decision. Home inspectors are not all the same, and you will get what you pay for. The cheapest ones often aren’t very thorough, as they have to rush to the next job to make ends meet. The home purchase is a big deal, so you should absolutely hire the best. Here are a few factors to also consider in finding the right home inspector for you.
Check that the inspector is licensed. To become a licensed home inspector in Florida, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) requires inspectors to complete state-approved training, pass a state exam and have regular continuing education.
Check to see if your inspector is a part of a trade association.
Ask them about their experience.
When you speak to your inspector, pay close attention to how well they communicate. This can be a big indicator of how they will inspect for you and relay findings to you when writing your report.
Tip #2 – Consider “Extras” You May Need
While interviewing a home inspector, you may also want to consider which other “extra” inspection services you’ll need. Remember, the home inspection is only one part of your due diligence when learning and researching about the home you are considering purchasing. There are some services that are not included with a standard home inspection, such as:
These will cost you an additional fee and may require additional professionals, but may be worth the investment, especially if you’re buying an older home. Ask your inspector if they can either perform these inspections, or arrange them on your behalf. You want to make sure that you check for any and all potential issues pre-purchase.
It might be tempting to not attend your home inspection, considering that you will be getting a written report when the inspection is wrapped up. Attending a home inspection will allow the inspector to walk you through some of the factors that may play a role in the future ownership of the home. This is a great opportunity for you to ask a lot of questions about the home itself and the longevity of some of the components within it.
When you choose not to attend your home inspection, you miss the chance to learn about important factors that might not come through on a home inspection report. That can be anything from a piece of mechanical equipment that you are unfamiliar with or features of a system that you may not know about.
Tip #4 – Relax and Work Through the Findings
A home inspection isn’t a “pass or fail” endeavor. We give you all of the information we can, and you make the decisions on what to do with it based on your circumstance. All too often, a new home buyer will receive their home inspection filled with all kinds of issues or problems. It would be easy to assume that this would be detrimental to your home purchase, but take a step back, read the entire report first and then discuss it with your home inspector and Realtor®.
It can be daunting to receive a list of everything that is perceived as “wrong” with the home, but keep things in perspective. Some of the findings may actually be very small fixes that the homeowner will be willing to take on, or that you may be willing to fix yourself. Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Remember, the job of your home inspector is to report all defects observed about your new home, the good and the bad.