Getting Your Home Inspected

Sherri Vandervort, RealtorSherri Vandervort, Realtor

Congratulations, you’ve found a home, are in escrow, and your loan paperwork has been submitted. Now what? At first glance the house looks in good shape. There is neither a gaping hole in the roof nor a sloping floor in the kitchen. However, what about the elements of the home that you can’t readily see? Now is the time for a Home Inspection during your discovery period.

I’ve learned over the course of my career from experiences assisting buyers into their new homes – “Know what you’re getting into.” Buying a home will be the biggest purchase in our lives for most of us, so having a professional look at the home is a good idea. Similarly, when buying a car, you wouldn’t plunk down the cash until you have your trusted mechanic look it over, right?

A professional Home Inspector will inspect the home from top to bottom and give you, the buyer, an unbiased report of findings. Most of your inspection will be related to maintenance recommendations and minor imperfections. These are good to know about. However, the issues that really matter are:

  • Major defects – a structural imperfection or damage
  • Things that lead to major defects – such as a small roof-flashing leak, or dry rot deck support
  • Safety hazards – such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel, or broken window

Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often, a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property. Most sellers are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Know that the seller is under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. So, keeping things in perspective will keep your deal on track and get you into your new home without surprises. Be an informed buyer.

For more details on what items are inspected during a Home Inspection, here are some resources:

www. for National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. for a sample report of a Home Inspection, or to ask questions of a home inspector.

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