Unless you’re a homebuilder or an inspector, you may not know what to look for when buying a home. The exterior and interior of the home may look pristine, but when you start living in the home, you’ll quickly find that it becomes a nightmare.
Leaks start springing up. That fresh coat of paint was covering a mold spot.
The next thing you know, your dream home has become a nightmare. Home inspections will help you avoid many of these costly repairs, but you need to know how to get the most out of your inspection.
1. Always Be Present During the Inspection
You’re the one purchasing the home. You're the one that is paying for the home inspection. And you have every right to be at the home during the inspection. In fact, you should make it a point to be present during the inspection.
When you’re present, you can:
An inspector will be invaluable, and even if a home passes inspection, there may be concerns of future issues that you’ll only learn about when you’re present at the inspection.
2. Take Pictures During the Inspection
If you’re present during the inspection, make sure that you’re taking pictures of problems that pop up. You can also ask the inspector to bring a camera. A majority of home inspectors will video record or photograph issues in the home for their own documentation.
You want to be able to see all of the issues for yourself.
Inspectors will go into spaces that you may not inspect yourself, such as an attic or crawlspace, or under decks. Pictures are proof that you can use to show the homeowner that problems exist within the home.
You can opt to have the homeowner pay for these repairs, or you can accept the issues for a discounted price on the property.
Inspectors may also bring along infrared or thermal cameras that will be able to check for issues that exist behind the drywall.
It's worth paying the extra cost to have these in-depth inspections conducted, especially in older homes that will have a higher risk of problems.
3. Consider a Camera Inspection for Pipelines
Camera inspections are an additional cost in many cases, but the inspection can help you understand the integrity of your home’s piping system. As explains, California has started to require all homes that enter the market to have their piping undergo a piping inspection.
A specialized procedure, the inspection can help potential homeowners:
- Identify weakened pipes
- Identify pipe breaks or clogs
Knowing these issues is important because a pipe burst or collapse can be a very costly repair for any homeowner to make. If the piping system is in great condition, this is a selling point that the homeowner can use when selling the home.
For buyers, knowing that the piping system is in good condition provides peace of mind when submitting an offer on a home.
4. Do Your Own Mini Inspection Beforehand
This will allow you to identify issues that you can bring to the inspector’s attention to discuss further. You can also use your own inspection as a means of narrowing down homes when looking at multiple options.
A home inspection checklist will allow you to save more time when potentially buying a home. You'll be able to check off homes that have too many issues without the need to call in an inspector and spend money for no reason.
Of course, a home inspector should always do a better job than an amateur, but large issues can often be identified by a novice.
When going through the home, don’t be afraid to question cosmetic fixes in the home. Sometimes, these cosmetic fixes are an attempt to hide a larger, underlying issue that exists. These suspicious fixes deserve a closer look because a more significant issue may be lurking behind.