Buying a home involves a lot of steps; one must ensure that before finalizing the deal your prospective home should tick all the right boxes. It is necessary on the part of the potential home buyers that they look beyond all the glitter of the new house and inspect it with a discerning eye. A home inspection helps in locating the foundation cracks, plumbing issues, wiring hazards and other unfathomable defects which are generally overlooked by the naked eye. How about hiring a professional home inspector, to begin with, your home inspection checklist?
Understanding home inspection
On top of the house inspection checklist is the question of what is a home inspection. A home inspection is a process whereby home buyers hire professionals who can provide an overview of the condition of the household. The professional takes the homeowner through the house’s condition and maintenance issues. This features understanding what requires immediate attention and what will the house need in the coming years. The potential buyers must be acquainted with all the loopholes and major repairs which can affect the condition, structure and build of the household.
This step helps in interacting with the home’s current owner and establishing the ground rules before entering into a deal which might or might not be in your favour. The potential buyers have the chance to request the seller for the repairs or to offer a credit towards the cost of repairs before closing the deal.
In addition to this, home inspection analysis can help in making suggested improvements and upgrades according to the buyer’s needs and requirements.
As a buyer, this first step on the home inspection checklist can help you understand the process and obtain an inspection report which can come in handy for any house-oriented issues.
Finding an expert
Another integral step on the home inspection checklist is to find an expert for the concerned job. There are licensing requirements for home inspectors which might vary from state to state. Some states consider inspectors to have prior experience, training and pass an examination to become licensed. However, some states do not offer any such eligible rules for licensing. There are real estate agents who provide potential buyers with the inspectors’ checklist as well.
It is necessary on the part of potential buyers to do a bit of research when it comes to finding an apt inspector for the house. Recommendations from friends, family, colleagues, neighbours or asking the inspectors for prior references helps in making the right pick. It takes a village to find the right inspector so that he/she can provide you with a thorough and detailed report.
Hiring a home inspector
Needless to say that the next step of the home inspection checklist for buyers involves hiring an inspector. It is important to note that one must ask for a sample report to see what the inspector covers while evaluating the condition of a household. There are two kinds of reports:
- In-depth reports (sometimes which are of 100 pages and longer) along with images and photographs of the house.
- Reports that have brief notes and observations with inspections checklist.
What your home inspections list covers all the expectations you have from the home inspector. It does not mean that the longer the report, the better. Sometimes more information creates confusion and the buyer is left with vague inputs on ceiling and foundation issues. It is necessary to skim through the observations and look at what concrete output has been achieved in the inspection report.
Some buyers come with their customized inspection checklist which deals with their specific concerns about the home. It is helpful to keep those in mind so that sufficient emphasis is laid on those items while inspection.
Before making a home purchase, the home inspection checklist for buyers must include an inspection contingency that gives the buyer a specific number of days to complete an inspection.
It is also wise to choose an inspector early on as a priority on your house inspection lists as it helps you in making a quicker decision. Good inspectors can come up with their home inspections list which can make the process much more rigorous and time-consuming.
How much should it cost?
The average cost of a home inspection lies between $350 and $600 nationwide. This might include a budget for additional examinations. Sometimes the inspector discovers problems or mentions issues that may lead to further investigation, such as asbestos, mould, or unpermitted additions. On disclosure of such issues, the buyers should ask for more time from the seller and establish ground rules for further price negotiations.
Preparing for a home inspection
Whether it is an old house or a new home, it is highly recommended that buyers prepare for the home inspection by making an old or new home inspection checklist. It would be great, to begin with covering areas of the home that you feel must be incorporated by the home inspector. Here is a list of concern areas and items that can help in starting the preparation process:
- Attic space and Foundation
- Basement and Garage
- Doors and windows
- Electrical panel, light switches, and power outlets
- Exterior stucco or paint
- Plumbing fixtures, faucets, and water heater
- Rain gutters and downspouts
- Roof, Porches and balconies
- Stairs, steps, and railings
- Thermostats and heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system
- Walkways and driveways
- Walls, ceilings, and floors
The inspectors’ checklist must contain the aforementioned areas and components of the house. The process of inspection takes a couple of hours and it would be helpful if the potential house buyer is present during the same. This process can also include your home inspection lists concerning the home’s condition. It is advisable to scribble notes and click photographs, and question anything that concerns you.
What all home inspection lists cover?
House inspection lists may vary from one inspector to another. However, it highly depends on the inspector checklist when it comes to covering all the physical components of the house structure and interiors. Here is an insight into the components which must be covered under home inspection lists:
- Drainage, Fireplace and chimney
- Floors covered by carpeting
- Internet service
- Lawn sprinklers and Sewer line
- Mice, rats, or other rodents
- Roof or outdoor landscape covered by snow
- Swimming pool equipment
- Trees and landscaping
- Wood-destroying pests, such as termites or carpenter ants
These house inspection lists vary according to the leads offered by the potential buyers and professional experts.
How to use a home inspection report in your favour?
The last and the most important step on the home inspections list is effectively using a home inspection report. Once the major problems or a longer list of minor issues are disclosed, it is necessary on the part of the buyer to analyze the decision to purchase the home. The professional help will help in understanding and estimating the cost of repairs. The potential buyers must include the repair and replacement bids from local contractors to effectively use the report in their favour.
A home inspection report enables the buyer to understand the house and rule out any problem areas. The home inspection checklist for buyers helps in evaluating whether the house is well-maintained or needs major repairs. It is a good way to understand the home’s current condition and make an informed decision.