It goes without saying that buying a home is a massive undertaking. Careful consideration is a must when choosing a home. But the architecture and atmosphere of the house alone shouldn’t be the only deciding factors you draw from.
It’s important to do some quality assurance as you tour your potential future home. What you see isn’t always what you get. That’s why the inspection process is a pivotal piece of any home buying journey. Review this checklist so you can have the best experience when it comes time for your inspection.
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Study Your Contract
Every purchase agreement contract should include an inspection contingency that will dictate how long you have to complete an inspection and back out due to the condition of the property. The specifics of this contingency will typically hinge on the state of your local market.
If homes are flying off the market, you might only have a few days to inspect and approve your future home. But if the market is slow, you might be able to complete this process within a week or longer. Be sure to know the specifics of your inspection contingency agreement.
Carefully Select an Inspector
An inspector will point out the condition of the major components and features of your future home. They will compile a report detailing what might require immediate attention or future maintenance. Selecting a trustworthy, thorough inspector can make or break your home buying experience.
Ask for a Sample Report
When you’re weighing your options, be sure to ask your potential inspectors for a sample report. Licensing requirements vary from state to state so reporting can be inconsistent. Different inspectors will go about reporting their assessment in different ways as well.
Some will deliver a multi-page report with photos included. Others will simply return a page with checkboxes and some brief notes. Be sure that their style is up to your preferred standard.
Create Your Own Checklist
While your inspector should hand over a document detailing anything and everything you should be concerned about in your potential home, having your own list of items to inspect can be of great value to you. This will help you and your inspector hone in on the particular areas that you want to focus on most. Construct a list of the places you hope to focus on during the inspection.
Here are some areas you may want to focus on:
- Plumbing fixtures, faucets, and water heater
- Electrical panels, light fixtures, outlets
- Thermostats and HVAC system
- Walls, ceilings, and floors
- Doors and windows
- Attic space
- Exterior stucco or paint
- Walkways and driveways
- Rain gutters and downspouts
- Porches, balconies, and/or sunrooms
Be There For the Inspection
The work isn’t done when you hand your checklist over to the inspector. It’s in your best interest to be there the day of the inspection too. Jot down notes and take your own photos for your records. Ask the inspector any questions you may have as you walk through the house with them. Being there will give you a better understanding of the status of the house and what major repairs are needed.
Make Sense of the Inspection Report
Now that the inspection is complete, you’ll need to make a decision around whether or not you’ll be moving forward with purchasing the home. Don’t be afraid to pick your inspector’s brain to see what they think about the report findings. Factor in costs for necessary repairs and consult your trusted real estate agent on what the best course of action is.
Between the inspector and realtor, you should be well-informed about the state of your potential home so you can make the best decision possible moving forward!