Home Inspection Tips: First Time Buyers
First time buyers, you’re putting a contract on a house and it’s very exciting. As it’s your first home, as soon as you submit the contract, the first thing you should do is order a home inspection. A home inspection is essential to ensure that the home you are about to purchase is in good condition, and that you are not going to have any unfortunate surprises that cost you a lot of money. To ensure that you get a good home inspection that tells you everything you need to know about your new home, keep these tips in mind:
The Home Inspection Checklist
Once you have hired a home inspector, you should continue to be a part of the process. As this is going to be your first time buying a home, it is important to be present and thorough throughout the whole process.
So how do you ensure that everything goes well with the inspection to ensure that both you and your new home is protected? Checklists can be an especially useful tool in achieving this.
Below is a checklist of tips a first time home buyer should do for a home inspection.
Be Sure to Attend the Inspection
The best thing to do for a home inspection is to attend it. While you aren’t required to be present, attending the inspection gives you the opportunity to find out about any potential problems early on.
Attending the home inspection gives you the chance to learn more about your potential new home, it also serves as a great time to ask questions.
Either way, it’s always a good idea to ask your inspector to show you any serious problems they find.
Create a List for Inspection
Every home inspector will have their own list of items to inspect within the home. It’s important that you ask to review their checklist prior to the inspection to ensure that everything is on it.
Make sure that If there’s any questions you have that you ask them right away
Although it’s great that the inspector comes with their own checklist, it’s never a good idea to solely rely on this alone. You should have a buyer’s checklist as well, especially with a first time home buyer.
If both lists are created well, then there should be a lot of overlap between your list and the inspectors.
Below are some items to add to your checklist:
- The roof
- Gutters and downspouts
- Exterior paint, bricks, stones, or stucco
- Walkways and driveways
- Porches and balconies
- The foundation
- Basement or crawl space
- Doors and windows
- Walls, floors, and ceilings
- Stairs, steps, and railings
- Electric wiring, including the electrical panel, light switches, and power outlets
- Heating, cooling, ventilation system, and thermostats
You can walk around with the home inspector as they check these items to get an idea of the condition of each as well as have the opportunity to understand your future home better.
Know What Is Not Covered
A home inspector is hired to inspect your potential home, however, make note that there are certain aspects of a home that may not be covered under the inspectors contract.
As a home has so many features and items to check, home inspectors have to limit the liability of the inspection. The items that won’t be covered, ensure that you take up the responsibility to check them yourself. This is a list of items that are typically not covered under a home inspection contract:
- Swimming pool and equipment
- Sewer lines and septic tank
- Strange odors
- Fireplace and chimney
- Floors covered by carpet
- Pest infestation
Be mindful of the weather conditions as well, for example, if you have an inspection take place in winter and your driveway or roof has snow covering it, then your inspector won’t be able to observe these.
Take Photos and Notes
Another way to ensure that you are getting the most for your inspection, is to take pictures as your inspector goes through the home inspection checklist. As the inspector walks through the house, be sure you’re taking images of everything.
Along with the pictures, you should also be taking notes during the inspection. As stated before, be sure to ask questions along the way. While not every aspect may be covered by the inspection, But if you see damage that might be related to something such as pests, you can ask for their professional opinion.
Carefully Read Through the Report
It typically takes the inspector multiple days to complete the home inspection report and send it to you. When you receive the report, be sure to give it a thorough look over. Here’s what to do:
1. Read and make notes of anything that you don’t understand.
2. Contact the inspector and get clarification on any questions.
3. In case of major issues, call a couple contractors to get estimates.
4. If needed, call your real estate agent to discuss the report.
If the inspection does uncover a major undisclosed issue in the home, that is a good time to potentially negotiate terms with your seller or you may want to rethink your decision to buy the home. Smaller repairs aren’t as big a deal, whereas large problems can take a toll on your wallet and safety.
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About Triple Check
Triple Check is an Wisconsin home inspections company. When you need an expert home inspector for your Wisconsin home look no further. Our experience allows us to save homeowners thousands on costly repairs and mistakes when buying or selling a new home. Expect only the best communication, professionalism and hard working staff around.