Most homeowners and potential homeowners know the value of a home inspection. But there are a few big mistakes you could be making when you get a home inspection, and the team at Boggs Inspection Services wants you to be prepared when it’s time to take a look at your house.
Not Getting a Home Inspection
“Home inspections almost always pay for themselves over the long run,” says Dwayne Boggs, “yet a small number of owners and buyers sell themselves short by skipping the inspection altogether.” Yet, the money saved by catching problems early is well worth the upfront cost, he explains. Some owners are feeling the pinch of moving expenses and mortgage fees and they talk themselves out of an inspection. Others think that their home just doesn’t need one.
“We see it most with newer homes, especially brand-new construction,” Dwayne explains. Even the most top-notch builder can miss things. Most home builders make use of one or more subcontractors, and with many different people working to complete the home, mistakes can be made and things can be missed. “From big deficiencies like an attic completely missing all of its insulation, to the little things like hoses not being hooked back up, mistakes can be made, and a home inspection will help find those mistakes.
Choosing an Inspector Based on Price Alone
The adage “you get what you pay for” persists for a reason, but it can be tempting to choose an inspector based only on inspection price. Buyers can sell themselves short when they do this, says Dwayne. Lower cost might seem like a value, but the cheaper cost usually comes in terms of experience and inspection offerings. There are many factors you should consider when picking a home inspector.
When comparing home inspectors, find out what kind of training the inspector has completed and ask about their certifications. Certifications, such as one with the American Society of Home Inspectors, allow opportunities for continuing education so that inspectors may stay up to date on changes to the industry. Take the time to look up reviews from past customers on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Always ensure that your home inspector is licensed and bonded by checking the Washington State Labor and Industries website. And ask to take a look at a sample report, and find out how the inspector will deliver the report to you and how long it will take you to receive the report, as well.
Not Attending the Inspection: In-person or Virtually
“We always recommend that you be present for the inspection,” says Dwayne. If you cannot be there, a trusted friend or family member to ask questions on your behalf can be a good substitute. “There are some things that a picture or an explanation on a report cannot adequately describe,” he says, “and being there to see and experience the inspection in real-time can help with the understanding of the report. Nothing can replace firsthand experience.”
“I encourage customers to do the full walkthrough with an inspector when they can,” he continues. “All of our inspectors are comfortable with answering questions throughout the inspection while following our protocols.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, and heightened concerns about health and safety, buyers might not think they need to be there for the inspection, but if possible, see if you can connect virtually with the inspector. “You will find that questions will come up during the inspections that might never have occurred to you if you had only read the report after the fact,” says Dwayne. “We have a lot of experience connecting virtually with our customers,” he explains. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Boggs inspectors worked with buyers from out of state, so connecting virtually is nothing new for them.
Not Reading the Inspection Report
It seems silly to pay for an inspection, and not even read the report, but that’s what a lot of customers do. When faced with the full inspection report, some find it overwhelming. “The report contains a lot of good, detailed information about your home. Don’t let that go to waste,” says Dwayne.
Homebuyers may only see the home inspection as a tool to negotiate a better deal in the buying process, but there is a lot more to the inspection report than just the big findings. Utilize the report as a guide to create a to-do list for your home. Start with major and pressing findings and work your way through the list as you are able.
Expecting the Perfect Home or Perfect Inspection Report
“Not every finding is a deal-breaker,” says Dwayne. “We do thousands of home inspections and every home will have a list of findings.” Most of those findings are not huge. If something makes you nervous, talk to your inspector to get a better idea of what each finding really means. “Our goal is to give our clients a detailed understanding of what the home looks like at this specific point in time, so they have all the knowledge they need to make the best choices for themselves,” Dwayne adds.
When you are preparing for a home inspection, keep these tips in mind to make the most of it. If you need to schedule a home inspection, check out the Boggs Inspection Services website.