You’ve met with a real estate agent, looked at a dozen or more homes, and finally narrowed it down to the one you imagine raising your family in. Even better, the seller has accepted your offer. You’re nearly done with the home buying process, right? Think again.
One of the most important steps when you buy a home is the home inspection. Before you hire an inspector, make sure you review these tips.
EVEN NEW HOMES NEED AN INSPECTION
All homes, regardless of age, should have a home inspection. In older homes, your home inspector may find problems to due to age and neglect. In newer homes, they may find potential problems due to shoddy construction.
FIND THE RIGHT HOME INSPECTOR
This is a bit like looking for a real estate agent, a lender, or anyone else in the buying process. Ask questions about their background and training. Talk to more than one. Ask for references or sample reports to review. Ultimately, choose the one who can find problems as well as explain them to you.
MAKE SURE THE UTILITIES ARE ON
If the home you’re buying is owner-occupied, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re looking at a foreclosed property, it could be your responsibility to make sure the utilities are on for the inspection. Either way, communicate with your real estate agent to make sure the home inspector can test everything.
GO TO THE INSPECTION
You’re not required to be there, but you should go anyway. Be prepared for it to take an entire morning or afternoon. If a home inspector tells you not to bother attending or that you don’t need to be there, that’s a home inspector you don’t want to hire. Feel free to follow the inspector around and ask questions so you can understand what they’re checking and why.
READ THE REPORT
Even if you went to the inspection, you should still read the report. Your home inspector should lay out what they found and what should be done to fix any problems. Your report should have pictures, as well. Take what the report says seriously, and if necessary, negotiate with the seller to deal with bigger or more expensive problems.
FOLLOW UP ON THE REPORT
No matter how much you love a home, you may have to walk away if serious problems are found. Sometimes you can negotiate a lower price or repairs with the seller. Sometimes you can’t. After you receive the home inspection report, be prepared to go back to the sellers or to make hard decisions. You never know what a home inspector will find.
Buying the home of your dreams is a big part of the American Dream. However, if you find structural or other problems after you’ve closed on the deal and have little money to make repairs, you may find yourself in a nightmare. Always get the home inspection. It will be worth every penny you pay, even if all you get in return is peace of mind.
Another very important step in the home buying process is buying a homeowner’s insurance policy. Contact Charlotte Insurance today so we can help you find the right policy for your new home.