Navigating Home Inspections: A Homeowner's Guide to Understanding and Utilizing Inspection Results

Real Estate
A home inspection is a critical part of the home buying process. This blog looks at what to expect during an inspection, how to pick an inspector, what an inspector examines, how to review inspection reports, and how to negotiate repairs with the seller. Learn more about home inspections with our resources page for buyers.
Published on
July 28, 2023
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Introduction

As a homeowner, one of the most significant investments you will make is purchasing a home. It is essential to ensure you invest in a property that is structurally sound and safe for your family. One crucial aspect of the home buying process is a home inspection. A home inspection is a non-invasive examination of the property's interior and exterior features, including the foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing, and so on.

Home inspections are essential for several reasons. Firstly, they help identify any potential risks in the property such as safety hazards, structural issues, and any potential health hazards. Secondly, they assist in obtaining valuable information about the home's systems, mechanical, and structural components, which is helpful in determining the home's overall value. In this blog, we will explore what to expect during a home inspection and how to navigate the results.

Picking the Right Inspector

When it comes to finding a home inspector, it is critical to consider a few factors. Firstly, you want to ensure that they are a licensed inspector and are certified in your state. Inquire about their qualifications, years of experience, and if they have any specialty areas they focus on. Ideally, you want to work with a home inspector who has several years of experience and has examined homes similar to the property you are interested in purchasing.

Secondly, you should consider the inspector's fees. While you do not want to overspend, you should be wary of a home inspector with the lowest rates, as that may indicate a lack of experience or service quality. Before picking an inspector, research their rates and compare them to others in the area to ensure that you are not being overcharged.

The Process

During a home inspection, inspectors typically examine the home's electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems, as well as the foundation, roof, walls, and overall structural integrity of the property. It is essential to be present during the inspection to ask any questions and understand any potential issues that may arise.

During the examination, the inspector will be looking for a variety of things, such as cracks in the foundation, water damage, or signs of pests. They may also check for the presence of mold, asbestos, lead paint, or radon. If the inspector identifies any issues, they will note them in a report that you will receive a few days later.

Examining the Results

Once you receive the inspection report, it is essential to read and understand it carefully. The report may be lengthy and technical, but your inspector should be able to help you understand it. The report should include a summary of any significant findings and recommendations for repairs.

It is crucial to pay attention to any potential major concerns, such as a cracked foundation or serious electrical issues. These types of concerns are typically deal-breakers and may indicate that the home is not worth the investment. Of course, minor issues should also be addressed as they may add additional repair costs to the investment price.

Negotiations

After reviewing the inspection report, it is time to discuss repairs with the seller. Ideally, the seller will agree to make necessary repairs before the sale, but this is not always the case. In that case, it is essential to discuss how to proceed with the sale.

It is common for buyers to ask for a concession for the repair costs or reduced sale price. However, some sellers may be unwilling to budge. In such cases, it is vital to seek mediation to come up with a compromise that works for both parties. This could include splitting the repair costs or adjusting the price to accommodate the necessary repairs.

Conclusion

When purchasing a home, a thorough home inspection is crucial, and navigating the results can be complex. However, by considering the above factors, you will be better equipped to choose the right inspector, understand the inspection process, examine an inspection report, and negotiate repairs. For more information, check out our resources page for buyers.

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