A home inspection is an essential part of the home buying process. It’s important to determine if your potential house is a wise investment, and more importantly, a safe place to live.
A typical home inspection includes a check of the house’s structural and mechanical condition, from the roof to the foundation, as well as proving home buyers with so much useful important information about the home they’re purchasing.
Depending on the seriousness of what the inspection uncovers, the buyer can walk away from the deal or negotiate with the seller for the necessary repairs.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when you’re deciding to hire an Atlanta home inspector.
1. Thinking a New Construction Home Doesn’t Need Inspecting
It sounds obvious enough, but this is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of a home inspection. Often times people assume that because a house has passed all the local codes and ordinances that it’s in good shape, so they don’t thoroughly inspect the new construction.
The easiest way to avoid this is to simply do your due diligence and inspect every area of the home. Don’t assume that the home builder did everything correct just because the house passed code.
An inspector is your last defense against any major problems that could be devastating to your new investment.
2. Choosing a Home Inspector for the Wrong Reasons
Picking the right inspector can be as important as selecting the right doctor. The professional you choose will give a full physical checkup to one of the biggest investments you will make in your life. It’s imperative to choose someone who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and thorough.
One big mistake that many first time buyers make is going with the cheapest option, or the one recommended by their realtor. Just like anything in life, you get what you pay for; the least expensive person is often the one with the least experience.
If you do decide to take a recommendation from your realtor, make sure you ask for at least two or three options to choose from. Check scope of work by using Yelp and Google Reviews. You never know what helpful information you might find about an inspector or inspection company. It’s also good practice to ask the inspector about licensing, professional affiliations, credentials, and insurance.
3. Not Attending the Home Inspection
It’s very important to tag along on the inspection, so you can visualize how minor or severe a problem is. The written report from the inspector alone is not enough to give you a clear picture of the condition of the house. Buyers who don’t go along on the inspection can be overly critical of a minor defect, or even worse, they might not realize how serious something is. You really need to go with the inspector, ask questions, take pictures, and listen to what they have to say about the condition of the house. Taking the time to do this now can save you thousands in the long run.
4. Not Following up on the Home Inspector’s Recommendations
Sometimes buyers just don’t follow up with the items discovered during the inspection before they close on the house. You might not realize the severity or cost of a problem. Inspectors will often recommend that buyers get an issue evaluated further, but the buyers will wait until after they close. Buying a home is obviously a long and tedious process, but waiting to get everything thoroughly looked at can make an enormous difference.
You should always get several estimates on repairs before you close, and be willing to discuss these with your inspector. The inspector can better explain the costs from the contractor, and help you decide what your next step should be.
5. Expecting Your Home Inspector to Know The Future
No matter how experienced or skilled your home inspector is, they can’t see into the future. An inspector can’t know what will happen years down the road; they can only make suggestions based on what is in front of them at the time. Sometimes optimistic home buyers think that everything is fine because there aren’t visible signs of failure at the time of the inspection.
An inspector might tell you how many years the air conditioning system in your house is expected to last, and how old it is, but they can’t predict when or if it will fail. This is the time where you need to call in an expert for that specific facet of the house. Call in the heating/cooling expert to look at the air conditioning, or call the roofing specialist to look at your roof and attic.
Taking the time to ensure your home is safe structurally, free of destructive pests, and without hazardous gas leaks can save you thousands of dollars, and keep your family safe. A home inspection is not something that you want to rush though. Take your time, call the right people, and welcome yourself to a safe new home.