Buying a house is a significant investment you’ll probably ever make. It’s also a huge commitment, and you need to have all your ducks in a row before signing on the dotted line.
A home inspection is one of those ducks, but it can be tough to figure out which inspector to use. In this article, we’re going to show you how to avoid common mistakes people make when hiring an inspector for their home purchase so that everything goes smoothly for you down the road.
Not Performing a Home Inspection
In addition to saving you money in the long run, a home inspection can also help you get a better deal on your new home. When buying a house, it’s vital to know what you’re getting into before committing to something.
You can learn a lot from a home inspection report too. It will show whether or not there are any major structural issues (beyond just cosmetic ones) with the house and identify potential electrical hazards or other safety concerns that could lead to costly repairs down the line if left unchecked.
Not Selecting the Right Home Inspector
When you are looking for the right home inspector, you need to ensure that they have the right experience. A good home inspector will have years of experience and be willing to show you their certifications and licensing. You should also ask for references so that you can talk to some of their previous clients. Note that 45% of home inspectors only have bachelor’s degrees and 5% have master’s, so you’re looking for knowledge based on experience and not just education.
If possible, choose an inspector recommended by someone else in your family or circle of friends, as this will give you an idea of how good they are. The person recommending them might even be able to tell you about any problems they had with them prior so that it doesn’t happen again when working together on future projects together someday down the line.
The last thing any homeowner wants is for their money to be wasted due to unknown issues. If you are in St. Simons and looking at an old property, you must have a service provider like St. Simons Home Inspection hired to check it out. The location features old yet pricey properties, and you wouldn’t want to end up buying a money pit.
Going to the Inspection Alone
You should always bring someone with you to the inspection. It’s best if you bring two people with you. The first person should be someone who understands home inspections and can help you understand any potential issues that might uncover during the inspection process.
The second person is there for support and negotiation purposes. Once you know what needs fixing or replacing, it’s up to you and your agent (or other professional) to negotiate with the seller about how much money needs to be spent on repairs before closing on the property.
Not Checking for Possible Environmental Hazards
A home inspection is your opportunity to find out about any possible environmental hazards that may be lurking in the walls. To ensure your investment isn’t going to cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, it’s important to look for:
- Lead paint – Lead paint can leach into the soil, posing a threat to children who play on the property or walk through contaminated soil. The EPA and CDC recommend testing homes built before 1978 for lead paint, as there are no safe levels of exposure.
- Asbestos – Asbestos was commonly used in building materials until 1989, when its use was prohibited by law because of health concerns. If asbestos is present in your home (even if it hasn’t been disturbed), you should hire an asbestos abatement team immediately to remove it safely from the premises.
- Mold – Mold grows best in humid environments with lots of water damage (such as leaky roofs). All mold growth must be removed and properly disposed of before moving into a house where mold has been found. It could save you from long-term health problems like asthma or chronic fatigue syndrome later down the road.
Failing to Check for Problems More Than Once
It is a common misconception among home buyers that the inspection process is only a one-time check and that once you’ve looked at an area, it doesn’t need to be checked again. You should always double-check any problem you see during your first inspection. It will give you a chance to see if there are other problems in the same area or nearby as well as make sure there aren’t any new issues that occurred since last time.
You must also check for problems in different lighting conditions. If possible, do your inspections after dark so that you can look for leaks and cracks in walls or ceilings better hidden during daylight hours. During the winter months, it can help if the home has plenty of windows as they allow sunlight into rooms with low lighting areas like closets or hallways (where most people don’t spend much time).
Not Having a Written Agreement Between You and the Inspector
You should also have a written agreement between you and the inspector. The agreement should include the scope, the time frame, and the price of the inspection. You also want to ensure that if there are problems found during an inspection, they are fixed by someone qualified to fix them properly. It can take some time, so you will want it included in your written agreement too.
In this article, we have discussed the top mistakes to avoid when doing a home inspection. The main purpose of a home inspection is to find out any hidden issues in your new property before buying it.
The better you are at identifying these issues, the more prepared you will be when taking on repairs or renovations after moving into your new home.