You’ve finally found what seems to be the perfect home. It’s got all your must-haves and some of your nice-to-haves, too. It looks like it’s in excellent condition, but merely looking like it’s in good condition is not enough when it comes to such a huge financial decision.
To make sure you’re not buying a money pit, you need a professional home inspection before you commit.
An inspection should uncover any potential issues so you have a complete picture of what you’re buying.
Finding a Home Inspector
Many first-time home investors don’t realize that it’s their responsibility to hire a Home Inspector. Make sure you make your offer conditional upon inspection or get one done before you make a bid. This in Utah is commonly referred to as your Due Diligence Deadline and is just that, a deadline, meaning you can have it done before that date has come and sooner is always better.
To find a home inspector, people often turn to recommendations from trusted friends and family members. Your Realtor might also have an inspector to recommend. While other people’s opinions are helpful, what’s paramount is that you hire someone who is qualified.
Some states require Home Inspectors to have certifications. For those that don’t, membership in organizations like the InterNACHI the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors or ASHI the American Society of Home Inspectors can give you some assurance about an inspector’s professionalism. Don't for get Google and Better Business Bureau Reviews as these serve to the pulse of the community, if an Inspection company is not a part of the BBB or unfavorable reviews consider passing and find someone who does.
Interview potential Inspectors before hiring one. Ask about their experience and whether they’re familiar with the type of home you’re buying. Find out what will be included in the inspection and report.
Inspectors Should Look For
Home Inspections are a visual, non-invasive inspection of the various systems and components in the property, the inspection is not to identify the normal wear and tear to re-negotiate the purchase contracts. The purpose is to identify material defects and the condition of the home, material defects include structural, life and safety defects or defects that may be expensive to remedy.
An InterNACHI inspection also calls out property systems and items that are past their service life. These items may be functioning as intended, but they are past life expectancy. Normally the appraisal takes this into account as the appraised value calculates the effective age.
The Home, Condo or Townhome inspection is also to inform existing home owners and first time investors of some of the operational and maintenance considerations of the established property.
Look for an inspection company that include thermal imaging as a part of their Inspections; beware of some inspection companies as they may charge additional fees for this fundamental service.
During a Home Inspection, the inspector should thoroughly evaluate the physical structure of the home as well as critical internal systems.
You should make sure the examination includes the following:
● Electrical system
● Plumbing system, including water pressure
● Heating and Cooling systems
● Radon detection equipment, if applicable
● Walls, Ceiling and Flooring
● Windows and Doors
While an inspection will give you an idea of a house’s overall condition, it's might not uncover hidden problems such as pests, mold or asbestos. It also won’t turn up flaws in areas that are below ground or otherwise inaccessible to the inspector, like wells and septic tanks. To identify those types of problems, you’re going to need additional inspections in professionals in those fields.
What To Do During the Inspection?
You should make every effort to be present when the inspection is taking place. You shouldn't follow the inspector around the house asking questions
as this will only delay the inspection, don’t start inspecting the home yourself, either. If you test a sink while the inspector is testing a shower, for example, you might alter the results, but rather look through the home and write down any questions you might have and when it is time for the walk through be sure to bring up areas of concern. It’s also important to remember that an inspection is only a snapshot in time on the day of the inspection, So if you’re buying a house in the middle of summer, try to consider how the home might perform in different conditions, like the winter or fall.
If you or your Realtor can’t make it to the inspection, you should contact the inspector to go over the report in detail once it is presented.
If you have questions about potential issues or how to take care of parts of the home that were not covered in the walk through, you should feel free to ask after the inspection.
A Home’s Report & Findings
Once the Inspector completes an evaluation, you will receive a report with the Inspector’s findings. Don’t be alarmed if you see a lot of deficiencies noted. Home inspections are detailed, so reports often include between 50 and 100+ issues, most of which are relatively small.
The report should include information about how severe each listed problem is, but don't be alarmed when you don't see estimates on how much it would cost to fix each problem, as this is and should be a conflict of interest. Ask the inspector for clarifications on this if necessary, while he or she may be able to references past amounts for work rendered, it should be a red flag if they offer their own company to do the work for you.
If the inspection finds more problems than you’re comfortable dealing with, you can choose to back out of the Real Estate transaction or try to negotiate to have the seller make the repairs or lower the price. If you’re satisfied with the condition of the home or the shape it will be in after the seller meets the arrangements of your negotiations, you can move into your new home with a greater peace of mind.
From the Owner:
Hello, Champion Inspect makes every inspection a Champion Inspection, so you can count on Champion's systematic approach to providing the most detailed, comprehensive, and reliable reports possible, this is why every inspection goes above and beyond to include Free Thermal Imaging & a 48hr Radon testing in single family homes involved in a real estate transaction.
Get started by scheduling with a Utah Certified Home Inspector in your area.
"Every Home has Problems, Understanding those Problems
Can Make the Home"
~ Jason Heitz