A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process no matter if you are a first-time buyer or a frequent mover with plenty of experience under your belt. A home inspection — an expense of $300 to $400 dollars — can end up saving you much more than that in the long run, essentially paying for itself sometimes many times over. Almost without exception, the findings of an inspection will reveal several issues that can be used to negotiate a lower purchase price, more than covering that cost.
Veteran or novice, how does a buyer know how to get the most out of their inspection? And how does a buyer know when to pull the plug on a deal or when to move forward, negotiating a solution? 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 shares its insight on the do’s and don’ts of your home inspection.
Home Inspection Do’s
Hire the inspector you want, not necessarily the one your agent uses. Understand that while your agent has experience in the area where you’re looking to buy, his or her choice is only a recommendation. You are the one hiring and paying the inspector and can select the inspector that’s right for you. Check with friends who have bought a home recently. Search online for inspectors in your area. Read reviews.
Keep in mind that homes are made of organic material. As such, they are subject to the elements and will always show some wear and tear. Expect issues. Your home will not be perfect. And don’t be surprised if the inspector finds 20 or more issues needing to be addressed. It’s important when you get the report to keep perspective knowing that you can fix nearly anything if you love the house.
Check your inspector’s credentials. Ensure that you have hired someone highly qualified who is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors.
Participate fully in your inspection. A home is likely the largest purchase you will every make and you should learn as much as possible before signing on the dotted line. Ask questions and pay attention.
Hold tight (but not too tightly) to the fact that you love this house. It’s important to remember this during the potentially stressful inspection phase. Balance your emotional connection with the house you want to make a home with the practical issues turned up during the inspection.
Home Inspection Don’ts:
Don’t try and be the home inspector. You have hired a professional and it’s time to let them do their job. It’s not necessary, or helpful, to question every finding or note your inspector makes. An inspector’s extensive training and experience (see above) is to be trusted, as they complete inspections on a wide variety of properties each day.
Don’t let your feelings take over. A home inspector is a neutral party. They have no emotional connection to the house and their findings will only reflect what they find, not what they hope they find. Take advantage of their unbiased opinion and keep your emotions at bay. “People sometimes fall so in love with a house that they forget to see the details,” Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Services, shares. “The inspection takes emotion out of the equation.”
Don’t get freaked out by a big issue found during the inspection. Boggs says, time and again, “Everything can be fixed.” Remember — the inspector is doing their job when they find issues. Armed with this knowledge, you can ask the buyer to fix the issue or, a more popular choice, reduce their price to cover the cost and take care of the repairs yourself.
Don’t mistake a newer home for a problem-free home. Older homes may appear to have more issues on the surface when, in fact, the solid underlying construction can be significantly better than many homes built in recent years. Don’t let fancy finishes and flashy extras fool you. Beautiful tile work and custom built-ins do not always indicate a solid structure and efficient systems.
Don’t nickel and dime the seller when responding to the inspection report. “Put yourself in the seller’s shoes,” Boggs suggests. Be fair and don’t nit-pick the details. It’s within your rights to ask for repairs or reductions in cost, but remember to focus on the big stuff, not the chipped paint or a leaky faucet.
In the end, remember that the inspection is just one piece of the home buying puzzle. It may be important, but ultimately, if you love a house, look at the inspection as a valuable piece of information to negotiate with. Appliances can be replaced, mold and moisture damage can be remediated, and siding can be repaired. Use the inspection report as a tool in the big picture of purchasing your home. Armed with solid information from a trusted and respected home inspector, you can get the best price and the home that’s right for you.
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.