Whether this is your first time buying a home or your fifth, a home inspection is an essential part of the process. First time buyers may ask why an inspection – an expense of $300 to $400 dollars – is necessary. Veteran buyers and real estate professionals alike will quickly share how a home inspection pays for itself, often several times over. Nearly every time, the inspection findings will show several issues that can easily be used to negotiate a lower home price by much more than the inspection cost.
But, how does a veteran or novice buyer know how to get the most value during the inspection? And, how do you know what issues are deal-breakers and which ones are fixable? As one of the busiest inspection firms in the South Sound in 2015, Boggs Inspection Services knows a thing or two about home inspections and offers this professional guide for your next home inspection.
Home Inspection Do’s:
- Hire the inspector you want. Most real estate agents have a relationship with a handful of inspectors and will recommend one to you based on their past experience. Understand that this is only a recommendation. You are hiring the inspector and you are paying his or her bill. Choose the right inspector for you. Ask friends who have bought a home recently if they liked their inspector. Do a quick online search for inspectors in your area. Read reviews.
- Check your inspector’s credentials. Ensure that you have hired someone with top-notch qualifications who is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors.
- Attend and participate in your inspection. This is your opportunity to learn more about the largest purchase you’ll likely ever make. Ask questions and pay attention. This is an opportunity to learn as much as you can about the home you may live in for the rest of your life.
- Remember that homes are made of organic material and are subject to age and the elements. Your prospective home will not be perfect. Expect issues. It is not uncommon for inspectors to find 20 or more issues with a house. Keep perspective during the process and know that you can fix nearly anything.
- Hold tight (but not too tightly) to the fact that you love this house. If you didn’t love the house, you wouldn’t be at the inspection phase. Balance your emotional connection to the home with practical issues turned up during the inspection.
Home Inspection Don’ts:
- Don’t forget you are not the home inspector. It’s not necessary, or productive, to question each observation and notation your inspector makes. Inspectors are professionals with extensive training and experience (see #2 above) and complete inspections on all kinds of properties each day. Trust the process.
- Don’t flip out over seemingly significant findings. Dwayne Boggs says time and again, “Everything can be fixed.” And, the inspector is doing his/her job when finding these types of problems, allowing you to ask the buyer to remedy the problem or reduce their price to cover the cost.
- Don’t let emotions run the show. One of the best things about a home inspector is they are an entirely neutral party. They have no emotional connection to the house and their findings reflect only what they observe. Capitalize on their unbiased opinion and try and keep emotion at bay. “People sometimes fall so in love with a house that they forget to see the details,” shares Boggs. “The inspection takes emotion out of the equation.”
- Don’t think a newer home will be problem free. Boggs shares that while an older home may present with more issues, in fact, the solid underlying construction is often significantly better than many homes built in the last 10 years. Don’t be fooled by appearances. Beautiful granite countertops and hand-scraped floors do not mean the home’s systems and structures are problem free.
- Don’t be nit-picky when responding to your inspection report. “Put yourself in the seller’s shoes,” suggests Boggs. Be fair and don’t nickel and dime the seller. Ask for repairs or price adjustments for major issues, not for chipped paint or a loose doorknob.
Ultimately, remember that when buying a home, the inspection is just one piece of the puzzle. Yes, it’s a critically important one and should be taken seriously, but if you love a house, don’t let unexpected findings be a deal breaker. Broken trusses can be repaired. Roofs can be replaced. Mold and moisture damage can be remediated. Use your inspection report as a tool in the big picture of purchasing your home and leverage the right price for the right house, armed with solid information from a trusted and respected home inspector.
If you are looking to buy anywhere in the South Sound area including Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Lewis and Mason counties, Boggs Inspection Services can help. Call for your inspection today at 360-480-9602 or visit Boggs Inspection Services online.