What is a home inspector and what is the inspector really looking for in a home inspection?
A home inspector is a professional whose expertise is to perform a detailed inspection and written report of your home. However, the inspector is limited to visible accessible areas only and latent defects can be impossible to identify. Most common issues in a home are the results of either deferred maintenance or substandard workmanship (DIY projects). The inspector will inspect the overall condition of the home and its components including maintenance recommendations and pointing out minor imperfections. It’s important to realize that no house is perfect and that some older homes may have followed building codes that are currently outdated. This has to be understood by the home inspector and put into context as to keep things in perspective.
What information is vital in a home inspection report and how should it be reported?
A report of defects without clear context or pictures can be an overwhelming document for the client. A buyer will be relying on this report for long-term financial decisions. Inspectors must relay the critical information to the buyer by taking pictures and putting it in context for buyers to understand. Pictures are worth a thousand words. This makes the reporting clear and far less confusing.
How can having a proper home inspection save you money in the short term and in long run?
A home inspection can identify areas that need additional money or fixing to bring the home to a personally acceptable condition. Some repair issues may be a major expense for the homebuyer. Some of the issues are not always noticeable even to the sellers. The homebuyer need to be informed of any major expenses as they may not be comfortable or willing to incur additional expenses. If such a situation arises and clearly indicated in the inspection report, the buyer can request for repairs and/or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. It is important to work with your realtor to recognize what requests can and should be made to negotiate the matter in hand.
A home inspector can estimate the installation age of major systems in the home for example furnace/boiler, water heaters, cooling unit. As well as inspect their current condition. It is important to know the age of the critical systems and components since all components in the home have a shelf-life. Estimating when these systems require replacement will make important budgeting decisions easier.
The home inspector is an important process in the purchasing process. An invaluable tool and educational resource. Further to the inspection of the home in the current condition, the inspector can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home. This can save the homeowner thousands of dollars in the long term.
By Marco Carello