To Inspect, or Not To Inspect

Real estate home inspection checklist and condition reportYou’ve just purchased your dream home and your salesperson is recommending an home  inspection before signing the final conditions. Is it worth $400-500? Now is the time to ignore your emotional attachment to the property, and make this a business decision. The answer is, “Absolutely!” The inspection is a critical step that ensures the structure, environment and operating systems of your dream home are safe and sound.  We are sometimes seduced by facade or the presentation of a property , but the things we cannot see can lead to expensive repairs or health concerns.

Remember, this is the environment where you and your loved ones will live. So, this is also the time to identify air quality concerns, safety hazards or health and environmental risks. Understanding the inspection process will help you set realistic expectations, while taking steps to protect your family and finances. Your salesperson can help you learn more.

What An Home Inspection Is

A standard inspection is a visual survey of the major systems and components of the home, including structural, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, foundation, exterior grading and drainage, roofing, siding and insulation.  But, inspectors will only check what they can actually see. For instance, if the basement is drywalled, they cannot see cracks in the foundation. If the roof is covered in snow, the shingles cannot be evaluated. Throughout the process, your inspector will advise about annual maintenance costs and average life expectancy of the house’s component systems.

What An Home Inspection Is Not

It is not a guarantee, warranty or “code” inspection, but hiring a professional inspector with an RHI designation is prudent. The inspector will verify that things are working properly, and are safe, not that they comply with code requirements. The inspector spends several hours walking, perhaps crawling through the house, and you receive a report of all findings and recommendations with cost estimates for remediation, repair/replacement or other professional services (furnace technician, structural engineer, thermal imaging, CCTV, energy audits).

Last Tip To the Wise

While you are in the house hunting process call and introduce yourself to 3 professional home inspectors – one should be available when you’re ready to bid, so you avoid stressful delays, and any temptation to skip the inspection.  Ask your Real Estate Sales Representative for recommendations, a great real estate agent will be able to give you the names of reputable home inspectors in your area.