A comprehensive home inspection is the most important step you can take in order to make sure that your home is structurally safe and your investment is sound. While inspections are often required by mortgage companies and have become a standard part of the closing process, potential home buyers are still making a number of mistakes which end up costing them dearly in the long run. Here are seven pitfalls you should avoid when working with a home inspector.
Just because the property is brand new and has passed all local codes and ordinances doesn’t mean that the home is without some issues. Code and enforcement inspections are less complete than a private inspection, and often omit inspecting anything that requires some digging, like crawl spaces and attics. A private inspection is the only way you can be sure the home has no major flaws.
You often get what you pay for, so the cheapest inspector you find may have the least experience, making him or her more likely to miss any potential issues. With social media and crowd sourcing sites, you can ask friends, families, and acquaintances for recommendations. Your realtor can offer a few recommendations; although you may want to interview a few before making a decision.
Licensing and certification requirements vary by state, and almost a third of states have no formal licensing requirement for home inspectors. Be sure to ask any potential inspectors about their education, training, and experience. The American Society of Home Inspectors requires members to inspect 250 homes before they are eligible for membership, and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors also has rigorous membership requirements.
A comprehensive report offers a good look at any potential issues and problems, but if you’re not present for the inspection, you’ll miss the opportunity to ask any questions and explore any recommendations.
Home inspections are focused on finding and diagnosing physical problems with the property, and many inspections don’t explore or cover other issues, including lead paint, asbestos, and mold. If you suspect these may be issues, you may want to hire a separate specialist to handle this aspect for the inspection.
Buying a new home is expensive, but not following up on the recommendations of your home inspector can cost you much more down the line. While some of these repairs may be addressed at closing, you will want to follow up with any other recommendations sooner rather than later in order to avoid costly repairs.
There are plenty of tools in a home inspector’s toolbox, but a crystal ball isn’t one of them. While an experienced home inspector can provide trend and anecdotal data about your structure, he or she will not be able to guarantee that your A/C will last another 5 years. Take your inspector's recommendations to heart and plan accordingly for any major repairs or replacements.
A complete home inspection is the best way to protect your
investment long term. Be sure to find and work with an inspector you trust and
follow up on any recommendations for the best results.
Schedule your home inspection with American Property Inspectors by calling 1.850.864.2744 today!