You’re finally ready. You’ve found the home of your dreams, made the offer, and are eager to close the deal with the seller. But don’t go rushing in yet—put on the brakes! You still need to have an inspection of the home first.
Why You Need a Home Inspection
Some buyers just assume that the home is inspected before it is put up on the market, and that the seller will fill them in on issues with the house. However, it isn’t good enough to assume that someone has already checked. You certainly don’t want buy a home that has mold, faulty electrical, or who knows what else. That’s why you need to hire a home inspector before you buy. Good inspectors will check plumbing, electric, mold, appliances, roofing, HVAC and everything else.
Most home inspections take place after the offer has been made but before the deal is closed and the contract signed, in Florida its usually within the first 15 days after the contract is executed. It usually costs around $300-$350 to hire a quality inspector. Specialists may charge a bit more. However, it’s worth the investment. Otherwise, you may not know what you’re getting yourself into before it’s too late.
How to Find the Right Home Inspector
Home inspectors are a dime a dozen and not all of them are equipped for the job. How will you know if the home inspector you hire is top notch?
Here are a few tips:
- Are they certified? Different states and agencies have varying standards when it comes to licensing home inspectors. One great thing to look for is certification from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI http://www.homeinspector.org/) . They have an extensive and thorough process for their licensing, and it has to be renewed every three years.
- What specializations do they have? General inspectors often get the job done, but it’s sometimes better to have inspectors that specialize in the property you’re buying. Commercial properties, old homes, and other properties each have their own unique problems that regular inspectors might miss. It’s worth investing in a specialized inspector, especially if you have any suspicions or concerns.
- Do they have a sample report they can show you? A sample report is a great way to see how thorough the inspector is and how they communicate each problem they find. They’re a great resource for you to get a feel for how the inspector does his or her work. It gives you some assurance that the job will be done right.
- Are you allowed to be there during the inspection? Don’t ever trust a home inspector that tells you “no.” They’re there to make sure everything that is a problem gets found before you buy. The best way for you to understand what’s going on in your future home is to be there when problems are found. Then, the inspector can show you what’s up and explain everything in more detail.
Finally, don’t assume your home inspector will cover everything. Often the home inspector will not cover the following:
- Termite and wood rot inspection
- Pool inspection
- Septic inspection
- Well inspection
These guidelines should help you get started with the home inspection process. With the right inspector in hand and a clean report, you’ll be ready to finally sign off on that contract! Make sure you share this post with your friends so they are protected and know the process!