5 Big and Common Home Inspection Mistakes
Most homebuyers realize that a home inspection is par for the course before a property purchase. But somehow we still manage to make major mistakes when it comes to hiring and conducting home inspections. Unfortunately, you’re the only one who is going to suffer for this negligence. So here are just a few common and potentially serious errors you’ll want to avoid when it comes to the home inspection process.
- Foregoing the inspection. It is imperative that you have a home inspection before you even consider purchasing property. In fact, you should make your offer to buy conditional on the outcome of the home inspection, regardless of age or other considerations. Many buyers assume that new construction and renovations mean that a home is in ship shape, generally because it has been approved by city inspectors and deemed to be up to building codes. But these inspectors do not perform the same, thorough investigation of a structure that home inspectors do. Never assume that a home has no problems simply because it’s new or because the current owners provide you with a laundry list of renovations and upgrades, or even their own inspection report.
- Failing to hire your own inspector. Lenders will often insist on hiring their preferred home inspector and making you foot the bill. But if you are insistent, you may be able to hire your own independent inspector. Or you can always pay for a second inspection by a highly recommended and experienced service provider you trust to conduct a complete and thorough inspection. Instead of quibbling over a few hundred dollars, keep in mind that you’re shelling out hundreds of thousands for a home and you want to make sure it’s the right one.
- Failing to check credentials. Don’t make the mistake of thinking referrals are the end-all-be-all when it comes to finding a reliable and trustworthy home inspector. Seek out a professional that carries proper licensure, has a long-standing reputation for stellar work, and has insurance (for errors and omissions), whether your state requires it or not. Most home inspectors do not guarantee that they won’t miss major flaws, but considering you’re the one who will have to pay for their oversights, you want to make sure you have legal recourse to claim reimbursement should you buy a home in good faith based on your inspector’s report, only to find glaring flaws that will cost you major money to repair.
- Skipping the tour. Of course the inspector doesn’t want you getting in his way, but he likely won’t deny you the opportunity to come along for the home inspection if you insist. Just make sure not to badger him. It’s okay to ask questions, but you don’t want to pester him to the point that he’s too distracted to perform his duties. If you follow along silently, chances are you’ll get the best possible inspection merely by being present.
- Missing portions of the inspection. Home inspectors have a set list of areas they’ll check, and you may be frustrated to learn that they rarely get on top of the roof or hit up outbuildings and other structures on the property aside from the main house. As home inspection mistakes go, this one lands in your court. It is incumbent upon buyers to negotiate any portion of the inspection that isn’t included in the standard package. So if you’re worried about roofing, the unattached garage, or plumbing throughout the property (not just in the house), make sure to ask the pros at Buckeye home inspections or your local vendor of choice to add these items to the list.