You’ve made an offer on a house you love, and have a vague notion you should have a home inspection done, but what does that mean?
First-time homebuyers may start the house-hunting process with words like “move-in-read,” “open concept,” or “finished basement” on their mind.
However, the vocabulary of real estate quickly turns to unfamiliar phrases like “escrow,” “PPI insurance,” and “under contract.”
When dealing with the nitty-gritty of mortgage approval, finances or writing an offer, it may be easy to overlook the big picture. However, a home inspection is just that. An expert examines the home and then writes a status report on the condition of the house.
1 – You’ve made an offer on a home and the seller has accepted.
2 – The offer is likely contingent on the results of a home inspection, meaning should an inspection uncover major issues, you can opt not to purchase the home.
3 – You now need to schedule a home inspection. Your real estate agent may recommend qualified inspectors in your area, or you may need to find an inspector on your own. (5 Things to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector)
4 – A time will be set up for the inspection that works with the inspector, you and the seller.
5 – The actual inspection will last three or four hours. The inspector will examine both the interior and exterior of the home. (Read a list of all things an inspector will examine) An inspector isn’t looking for perfection, and normal wear and tear is expected. Instead, an inspector is looking for serious issues that may affect the functionality, safety or appearance of the home.
6 – In addition to being an examination of the home, the inspection can serve as an educational opportunity. As the buyer, you are encouraged to accompany an inspector during the process. (Should I Follow My Home Inspector?)
7 – Within 24-48 hours after the inspection, you will receive (usually via e-mail) a comprehensive home inspection report written by the inspector. The report will detail any major deficiencies or expenditures you may encounter during the initial years of ownership of the home. (Report Follows Standards and Practices of the American Society of Home Inspectors)
8 – With the report in hand, you can negotiate with the seller to either fix issues or ask for a price reduction. If the inspection uncovers major issues, you may want to walk away from the sale.
9 – Even after you’ve purchased the home and moved in, the home inspection report can be a vital tool. Understanding the age and condition of systems in your home allows you to develop a proper maintenance or replacement schedule.