A pre-purchase home inspection is a way for buyers to find out if they’re buying a home with hidden defects. This type of inspection can help protect against unpleasant surprises and costly repairs after the purchase has been completed. It is important for home buyers to have the information necessary before making such an expensive purchase so that they know what they are getting into and can make an informed decision about whether or not this property will suit their needs in the long term.
Should you do your own pre-purchase inspection? Yes, you should inspect a house before you write an offer on it. Then you should put an inspection contingency clause in the offer, and hire a professional inspector. Why do both?
Doing your own inspection can help you get a better deal. Each cracked window or leaky toilet you can find is a negotiating point. You see, you could just make a low offer, but a seller is more likely to accept your offer, if you have reasons for it being lower. In fact, you should attach a list of your concerns to the offer, as an explanation and justification for your price.
Use a list as you walk through the house. Using a home inspection checklist keeps you from forgetting things. You don’t have to know the difference between 12-gauge and 14-gauge wiring, or become an expert on all the building trades, as useful as this would be. Just use what you do know, and make a note if something looks “odd” or “smells funny.” Afterwards, you can have a professional inspector take a closer look.
Pay for a professional pre-purchase inspection. Unless you really know a lot, it can save your neck financially. Do a walk-through inspection yourself, by all means. Just also put that clause in the contract allowing you to have professional inspections too. Now, how do you choose the right person to do the inspections? Carefully.
Pre-Purchase Inspection - Choosing an Inspector
For specific inspections that are customary in your area, you can rely on most reputable companies. For general pre-purchase inspections, though, it isn’t as easy to hire the right person. In many states it is relatively easy to get licensed for general home inspection.
What you really want, though, is not someone that read the right books and passed a test, but an inspector with real life experience. Ideally, you want a former builder or tradesman that has real experience with everything from electrical work to roofing to plumbing and more.
You also want to be sure that the home inspector is certified. There are a few different companies like InterNACHI & ASHI that you can use to find a certified home inspector. You want someone who is certified so you can get the knowledge you deserve to have about your house. You want to know what is wrong, but you also want to know what it will cost to fix these problems.
Not all inspectors will have that information for you. Ask if they can give you estimates for repairing any problem they find, even if only in the form of a range of the possible cost. You may be re-negotiating the price based on his findings. You could call in contractors to get quotes on big problems, but you need to at least know which are big problems, and a good inspector should be able to tell you.
When you purchase a home, it’s important that you have all of the information necessary to make an informed decision about whether or not this property will suit your needs in the long term. A pre-purchase home inspection is one way to find out what may be wrong with a house before committing to buying and can save buyers from unpleasant surprises after they’ve already purchased their new place.
If you’re considering purchasing a home but would like more information on what might need fixing, we offer inspections at competitive rates for any size project! Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.
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