In this week’s episodes, we’re buying a home! Or at least thinking about what we need if we were to buy a home. In today’s episode, I’ll be sharing some advice for making the most of your home inspection.
After you’ve made an offer on a home (I can’t really help you there, because there’s too many variables, which is WHY YOU WANT A GREAT REALTOR), you’ll have to get a home inspection. I am with you, it seems like you should be able to do this before you make the offer. BUT, it’s okay, because the inspection gives you protection and wiggle room as the consumer. So breathe.
Firstly—you might want to choose your home inspector independently from your realtor. Your realtor does have some stake in the sale of your house, and I’ve wondered if an inspection has been light so that the sale goes through. So, get recommendations if you feel even remotely weird about your realtor.
An inspector does a thorough walkthrough of the home, noting any structural damage that could be problematic. Problems could range from needing to re caulk the bathtub (an easy weekend project that costs less than $20) to needing foundation repairs, which are often cost prohibitive. You could kick back and wait for the report at the end, but what I’ve found to be more useful as a homeowner is letting the inspector know that I’m along for every bit of the ride and will be walking through the inspection with them, asking questions as we go. Every inspector I’ve worked with has welcomed this, along with the cup of coffee I always bring them when we show up at the home.
Following along with your inspection helps you get to know your home to be! You’ll learn where the circuit breaker is, where the emergency water shutoff is, where all of the light switches are, how the central heat and air operate, what’s happening up in your fireplace, and if mold is there trying to suffocate you in your sleep. Often, inspections don’t include pest control—aka checking for termites and termite damage, so you might need to do a second walk through with them as well to make sure that any supports to the home are in good condition as well.
A good inspector will provide you, your realtor, and the sellers with a written report of everything that is wrong or could potentially be wrong with the home. From there you can negotiate with the sellers what they will financially cover before the sale and what you’re going to repair once you own the home. Be sure to get their name and contact information in case you have questions later, and feel more in charge of your homebuying experience.
You can do it, I can help, and I would love for you to share your home inspection experiences with me! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now That I'm Not Your Teacher by Taylor Vogel is a podcast that offers insight about the real world stuff that teachers often want to say, but either don't have time to or really shouldn't.
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