Getting the Most Out of Your Home Inspection
A home inspection is a buyer’s chance to get fully acquainted
with their prospective home. It’s a priceless opportunity to get answers and
information to make informed decisions. So how exactly can buyers get the MOST
out of that experience? Here are some tips about how:
The absolute number one way to get the most out of
your inspection, is to be there and be an active participant. In addition to
inspecting the home, the inspector will educate you about the house, encourage
your questions, and show you the locations of major systems and components (i.e.
water meter location and important shut off valves, etc.) This is an important
opportunity for you to receive a wealth of information and a detailed
orientation to the home.
Dress for Success
Remember to dress for the occasion. Attend
your inspection in comfortable clothes and accompany your home inspector
throughout the inspection. Closed-toed shoes and long pants are recommended.
Dress appropriately for rain or cold as well. Expect a few cobwebs and dusty
shoes and don't shy away from the opportunity to see basements or attics
first-hand with your inspector. Whenever you safely can, tag along.
Make the Time
Expect your inspection to take some time,
between 2 and 3 hours. Don’t schedule the inspection when you have to rush to
another appointment or when you are otherwise distracted.
If the property is vacant or a
foreclosure, etc. be sure to meet with your real estate agent and do whatever it
takes to make sure all areas of the home will be accessible to your inspector
and all utilities will be on.
Take Notes & Ask Questions
It’s a great idea to take
notes during your inspection. Prepare a loose leaf binder ahead of time with a
blank sheet of paper for each system or area of the home. Write your questions
down in the appropriate sections ahead of time so that they can be answered at
the appropriate time during the inspection. This way, all your notes, questions
and answers will stay organized.
Limit Extra Guests
There are many
occasions when you may wish to bring others along on your inspection—for an
extra set of eyes, or someone whom you trust to help you ask questions or
understand the inspection information. But limit any guests that might distract
you from the inspection or tempt you to discuss aesthetic topics that are better
left for later.
Schedule A Babysitter
Speaking of “guests,” if at all
possible, leave your children with a sitter or arrange for another adult to come
along to watch them so that you can give the inspection your full attention.
Leave the Pictures to the Inspector
It’s not a great idea to
bring camera/ video camera along to the inspection. Though this may sound
counter-intuitive, when you are stuck behind a lens, your attention is not fully
on the inspection. You can also become easily tempted to begin taking pictures
of items for other purposes, like decorating or space planning. Leave the
pictures to the inspector who will snap shots of various areas during the
Consider Optional Inspections or Testing
Getting the most out
of your inspection may mean getting some additional inspections or tests
performed that same day. Consider radon testing or pest inspections and get them
done all at the same time.