5 Things You Need to Know About Home Inspections

home inspections

Educate Yourself on How a Home Inspection Works

If you’ve never had to get a home inspected before, you might be wondering about home inspections and what they mean for your hopeful future home.

For example, did you know that you should receive an extensive report after an inspection? Do you know if walking away after an inspection is an option?

Here’s what you need to know about home inspections. Even if you’ve had a home inspected before, some of the items might surprise you or refresh your understanding.

1. The Inspection Is Going To Take A Few Hours

Home inspections should be thorough and this isn’t a task you can check off your home buying to-do list in a half hour.

Because the inspector will be checking the home’s most important systems (mechanical, electrical, gas, and plumbing) plus other components like the roof, foundation, and so much more, come armed with patience.

Yes, you can join your inspector for the inspection if you’d like! Wear something you can get dirty in, especially if you want to crawl around.

2. You Should Receive A Detailed Inspection Report

Your inspection report will be incredibly detailed and you might notice some words and phrases you’ve never heard of before. If you know anyone in the construction industry they can help you make sense of everything, but your real estate agent can also be a helpful asset.

Remember, even if something sounds like a scary deal-breaker it might just be that you’re unfamiliar with the jargon being used.

3. You Can, And Should, Use Your Inspection Report To Negotiate

The inspection report can be a very helpful negotiation tool. If there are a myriad issues the sellers may be willing to do some repairs in order to save the sale, and you might also be able to talk them down on price.

However, don’t expect the sellers to automatically fix every item in the report. Some things will need to be fixed before a lender will give you a loan, but other items like peeling paint or scratched surfaces don’t typically merit fixes from the sellers.

4. An Inspection Doesn’t Cover Everything

Home inspections are very detailed, but they don’t cover every conceivable issue that a home could have.

Structures that are separate from the main house generally aren’t covered, like garages and sheds (though you can request that they be inspected.) Additionally, septic tanks and the insides of the walls are not checked during an inspection. These components require professionals with a specialty, and if you’re concerned about these areas you should consult the appropriate specialists.

5. You Can Walk Away From The Home After An Inspection

Once you’ve put an offer in on a property and have had an inspection completed you can always walk away from the purchase. The offer and inspection aren’t signs that you’ve fully committed to buying the home.

The only caveats are that you must respond to the seller within a designated timeframe with a legitimate reason, even if that reason is simply, “All of these minor repairs will be too expensive for me.”

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