Lynn Rand's Blog
If a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her residence, it now may be time to schedule a house inspection. And if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can get the information you need to determine whether to proceed with a house purchase.
Ultimately, there are several factors to consider as you evaluate a home inspector, and these include:
1. Industry Experience
It generally is a good idea to hire a home inspector who boasts plenty of industry experience. That way, you can work with an inspector who knows what it takes to analyze a house. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to identify underlying house problems before you finalize a home purchase.
Ask a home inspector about his or her industry experience – you will be happy you did. If you dedicate time and resources to learn about a home inspector's industry experience, you can determine if this individual can help you assess all areas of a house.
2. Client Referrals
A home inspector should have no trouble providing client referrals upon request. With client referrals in hand, you can reach out to a home inspector's past clients and learn about their experiences working with this professional.
As you search for the right home inspector, you may want to contact several inspectors in your area as well. If you reach out to multiple inspectors and receive client referrals from them, you can boost the likelihood of making an informed hiring decision.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
There is no guarantee that a home inspector will be available at your convenience. If you need to conduct a home inspection as soon as possible, you should search diligently for an inspector who can fulfill your request.
For those who want to quickly find a top-notch home inspector, there is no need to take shortcuts, either. Remember, a home purchase likely is one of the biggest transactions you will complete in your lifetime. If you fail to hire a highly trained inspector to evaluate a residence, you may struggle to identify potential home problems.
If you need extra help as you search for a house inspector, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional will guide you along the homebuying journey and ensure you can avoid costly, time-intensive mistakes.
A real estate agent can help you get in touch with the top-rated home inspectors in your area. Plus, he or she will provide plenty of guidance throughout the homebuying journey. If you ever have concerns or questions as you decide whether to purchase a house, a real estate agent can respond to them right away.
If you want to enjoy a successful homebuying experience, it helps to employ a first-rate house inspector. By considering the aforementioned factors, you can hire a superb home inspector to review all areas of a house. Then, you can obtain a home inspection report to help you make the best-possible decision about a house purchase.
If you plan to buy a house and want to achieve the optimal results, you should perform a home inspection. In fact, there are many reasons why you should allocate significant time and resources to conduct an in-depth house inspection, and these include:
1. You can gain unprecedented insights into a home's condition.
Although you might have fallen in love with a house when you first saw it, a home inspection may make you rethink your decision to purchase a residence. To better understand why this may be the case, let's consider an example.
If you conduct a home inspection and discover a wide range of problems with a house, you have a tough choice to make. In this scenario, you can continue with a home purchase as planned. Or, you may be able to make a viable argument that a seller should perform assorted house repairs or reduce his or her sale price based on the inspection results.
Ultimately, a home inspection provides you with insights that you may struggle to gain anywhere else. And if you perform an extensive home inspection, you may reap the benefits of this evaluation for years to come.
2. You can avoid the risk of paying too much to acquire your ideal residence.
As a homebuyer, it is important to do everything possible to get the best price on a house. But even if you conduct real estate market research, you risk spending too much on a house if you ignore a home inspection.
With a house inspection, you can learn about various home problems, along with the costs associated with such issues. Then, you can use this information to determine whether your initial offer is sufficient, or whether you should request a reduced home price based on a residence's condition.
3. You can limit the possibility of costly home repairs.
Thanks to a home inspection, you can identify home issues that otherwise may lead to costly repairs down the line. You then can use this information to decide whether you can complete myriad home repairs on your own, or whether professional support is needed to perform house improvements. And if you are overwhelmed by the costs associated with many potential home repairs, you can always walk away from a home sale at this time.
Clearly, there are many reasons to perform a home inspection before you finalize a house purchase. If you hire an expert real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you prepare for a home inspection too.
A real estate agent is happy to put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. Plus, a real estate agent will attend a home inspection with you and is ready to provide guidance throughout the evaluation. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can meet with you after a house inspection, go over the inspection results with you and help you make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a home purchase.
If you recently submitted an offer on a house and received a "Yes" from the seller, you likely will need to schedule a home inspection in the next few days or weeks. Ultimately, an inspection can make or break a house sale, so you'll want to plan for this evaluation accordingly.
Fortunately, there are several steps that a homebuyer can follow to plan for an inspection, and these are:
1. Find an Expert Home Inspector
All home inspectors are not created equal. And if you make a poor selection, you risk missing out on potential home problems that could prove to be costly and time-intensive down the line.
Before you schedule a home inspection, evaluate the home inspectors in your area. That way, you can find an expert home inspector who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assess a residence.
Reach out to a variety of home inspectors and ask for client referrals. Then, you can contact home inspectors' past clients to better understand whether a home inspector can match or exceed your expectations.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you find a qualified home inspector. In addition to helping you buy a home, this housing market professional can put you in touch with top-rated home inspectors in your city or town.
2. Make a Home Inspection Checklist
When it comes to preparing for a home inspection, it usually pays to be diligent. Thus, you'll want to put together a checklist beforehand to ensure that you know exactly which areas of a house that you want to examine.
A home inspection checklist may emphasize looking at a house's roof, heating and cooling system and much more. Also, it may be worthwhile to include questions to ask a home inspector in your checklist. This will ensure that you can receive comprehensive support from a home inspector throughout your house evaluation.
3. Consider the Best- and Worst-Case Home Inspection Scenarios
Although you'd like to believe that a home that you want to buy is in perfect or near-perfect condition, an inspection may reveal a wide range of problems. However, if you prepare for the best- and worst-case home inspection situations, you can increase the likelihood of staying calm, cool and collected in even the most stressful post-home inspection scenario.
If a home inspection reveals that there are no major issues with a house, you're likely good to go with your home purchase. Next, a home appraisal may need to be completed, and you'll be on your way to finalizing your transaction.
Conversely, if various problems are discovered during a home inspection, you may need to reconsider your home purchase. In this scenario, you may want to ask a seller to perform home repairs or request a price reduction. Or, you can always walk away from a home purchase as well.
If you need extra help preparing for a home inspection, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can get the assistance that you need to conduct a successful home inspection.
The sellers of your home will not be present during a home inspection. It constitutes a conflict of interest. In fact, in some cases, you may never actually get to meet the occupants of a home you’re considering buying. There’s ways that you can get in touch with the sellers. That’s through your realtor. It is a good idea to ask the sellers of a home plenty of questions that may concern you. It will help you to make a more informed final decision on the home you’re considering buying. Getting these answers also can help you to know what to expect once you actually live in the home. Unless you’re buying a short sale or a foreclosure property, you’ll have likely have this opportunity to ask questions. Most of the things that you’ll ask the seller will be a bit more open-ended. Here’s some ideas of what you might want to ask the sellers of a home:
Have you ever had water in your basement?
While the home inspection can reveal traces of mold and mildew, the fact that water comes into the basement on a regular basis is a problem. Other questions related to this would be, “Do you have a sump pump?” If there are any major signs of water damage, you can ask that it be repaired before you even buy the home.
Have you had any structural problems repaired? Are there any cracks in the walls?
The seller will answer these questions honestly, allowing you to better assess the condition of the home.
Has your roof ever leaked? When was the last time the roof was replaced?
The typical roof on a home lasts about 25-30 years. If the roof was replaced more recently, you won’t have to worry about it for years to come. The home inspection will also reveal a lot about the roof and any water damage that may have occurred.
How do the heating and cooling systems work in the home? How much do you typically spend on these utilities?
You should find out from the occupants how well the heating and cooling systems work in the home and if there are any problems that have been found. You can also get an idea from the previous owners of how much money you can expect to spend on gas, oil, and electricity in the home. Your home inspector will also give the heating and or cooling systems a good inspection and let you know if he sees any potential problems with the unit.
Have you made any recent improvements to the home?
A bonus to any home purchase is if a seller has made any major recent upgrades to the home. Everything that the sellers have done from replacing windows to updating the kitchen to replacing the roof is all things that you won’t have to worry about until a much later date.
Asking questions during a home inspection is always a great idea. It’s also even better if you get an idea of the condition of the home from the sellers themselves. The bottom line is that when you’re buying a home, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions!
For example, home ownership usually brings with it tax advantages and investment features that can work in your favor. Getting guidance from a licensed tax advisor and financial consultant can help make sure you're getting the maximum return on your real estate investment.
Tips For House Hunters
If you're in the process of buying or looking for a new house, an experienced real estate agent (and home inspector) can be a valuable resource when evaluating the condition of a home, estimating the current market value of the property, and predicting the growth potential of the neighborhood. As you may already know, the location of a property is one of the most important aspects of its current and future value.
Seller disclosure laws, which vary from one state to the next, can offer buyers some measure of protection against costly problems, health or safety hazards, or quality of life issues down the road.
There are two reasons that seller disclosure requirements don't always protect home buyers from property flaws and repair problems: seller dishonesty or hidden conditions sellers aren't aware of. They can't reveal issues they don't know about, and in some cases problems are hidden behind walls, ceilings, and other places.
As mentioned, a potential obstacle to getting the full story about a home's history, flaws, and weaknesses is the seller's unwillingness to be completely honest. Even though they're opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit if they fail to reveal known problems with the property, they may risk it if they think full disclosure may derail their chances to sell the house or get top dollar for it.
From the buyer's standpoint, the best advice to keep in mind is caveat emptor: "Let the buyer beware." Your real estate agent can fill you in on the details of exactly what a seller needs to disclose, in terms of flaws, defects, hazards, damage, repairs, infestations, and even bizarre things like paranormal activity, suicides or crimes that occurred in the house. You'll also want to know things like whether the property is in a designated flood plain, whether there are any boundary line disputes, and if there are known toxic substances on the premises or underground.
While there are many variations in seller disclosure forms (depending on state laws and local conditions), there are also standard questions in most forms. As a side note, some localities may require disclosure about hazards such as earthquakes, fires, or other potential natural disasters.
You can get an overall idea of what's included by doing an online search for property disclosure forms. Generally speaking, the most reliable sources of information are your real estate agent, a real estate attorney, or your state's Department of State.