You’ve found the perfect house. You’ve made the offer and it’s been accepted. You’ve now arrived at the critical home inspection. First time buyers may ask why an inspection – an expense of $300 to $400 dollars – is necessary. However, experienced buyers and real estate professionals will both tell you how a home inspection almost always for itself, often several times over. A thorough inspection report will reveal enough issues, minor or major, in a home to allow you to negotiate a lower price point more than covering the inspection cost. And, you are buying piece of mind which is priceless.
But, how can you ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck in a home inspection? And once the report is in hand, what issues are deal-breakers and which are fixable? As one of the busiest inspection firms in the South Sound in 2015, Boggs Inspection Services knows a thing or two about home inspections and offers this professional guide for your next home inspection.
Home Inspection Do’s:
- Check your inspector’s credentials. Hire someone with excellent qualifications and is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors.
- Hire the inspector you want. While your agent likely has an inspector or two they typically work with, their choice is just a recommendation. Choose the right inspector for you. After all, you are paying the bill. Check with friends who’ve recently bought a home. See if they liked their inspector. Poke around online for inspectors in your area. Read reviews.
- Be present and participate in your inspection. A home is likely the most expensive purchase you’ll make. Take advantage of the expert you’ve hired. Ask questions and pay attention. This is a chance to learn all you can about this home where you may live for the rest of your life.
- Keep in mind that homes are crafted from organic material. These materials are subject to age and the elements and, as a result, they will not be perfect. It is not unusual for inspectors to find 20 or more issues during an inspection. However, it’s important to keep perspective during the process and remember that most anything can be fixed.
- Hold tight (but not too tightly) to the fact that you love this house. If you love the home, if you see your family living happily here for years to come, don’t let inspection findings change that feeling. Balance your emotional connection with practical issues turned up during the inspection to negotiate with the seller and get the best deal.
Home Inspection Don’ts:
- Don’t freak out over potentially big issues with the home. Dwayne Boggs shares time and again with buyers, “Everything can be fixed.” In fact, it’s good news when the inspector finds these issues before you close your sale. It allows the seller to remedy the problem or reduce their price to cover the cost.
- Don’t forget you are not the home inspector. You have hired a professional. Now, let them work. While staying involved in the process is encouraged, trust the inspector you have hired. Their technical training and expertise (see #2 above) combined with their day in and day out experience looking at all kinds of properties ensures you are in good hands.
- Don’t let your emotions take charge. Home inspectors are entirely neutral during the inspection process. They have no emotional connection to the home and are not invested in the outcome of the inspection beyond providing an unbiased opinion and reasonable recommendations. “People sometimes fall so in love with a house that they forget to see the details,” shares Boggs. “The inspection takes emotion out of the equation.”
- Don’t nickel and dime the seller. “Put yourself in the seller’s shoes,” suggests Boggs. If you were selling a home, would you want a buyer to demand repairs for tiny imperfections? Ask for repairs or price adjustments for major issues only, not for chipped paint or a loose doorknob.
- Don’t assume a newer home is problem free. Boggs explains that in older homes, the underlying construction is often significantly better than many homes built in the last 10 years. Don’t let snazzy features and upgrades blind you to the mechanical and structural integrity of the home. Cool light fixtures, wood floors and a spa tub won’t help you when the roof leaks or the furnace fails.
In the end, remember that the inspection is just one piece of the puzzle. It may be one of the more important pieces, but your connection to and love of the home is equally important. Don’t let a surprise problem uncovered during inspection dash your dreams. Broken trusses can be repaired. Roofs can be replaced. Mold and moisture damage can be remediated. A quality inspection report should be considered in the big picture of purchasing your home. Use the findings to leverage the right price on the right house for your family. Armed with solid information from a trusted and respected home inspector you are well on your way to a happily ever after.
If you are looking to buy anywhere in the South Sound area including Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Lewis and Mason counties, Boggs Inspection Services can help. Call for your inspection today at 360-480-9602 or visit Boggs Inspection Services online.