My husband and I become first-time homeowners earlier this month, but our home buying journey started long before that.
We had been thinking about buying a home for some time, so earlier this winter, we decided to sit down with a realtor and see what the market looked like. After visiting several homes for sale, we started getting a feel for what was available in our price range.
When we finally found a house that met our criteria, we decided to make an offer.
Because the home was older, it was obvious that it was going to need some TLC. Our own assessment of the house revealed that the kitchen and bathroom would need some repairs and that the roof would also need to be replaced. We were prepared for the worst and ready to know what a trained professional would find.
While the law does not require a homebuyer to schedule a home inspection in order to purchase a house, the home inspection is the buyer’s best friend when it comes to making an informed, educated purchase.
Costing around $400 to $500, the price of the home inspection may cause initial sticker shock, but the value the home inspection provides the buyer with is invaluable.
We scheduled our inspection with Dwayne Boggs of Boggs Inspection Services and met with him, our realtor and a few family members a couple days later for the inspection.
The inspection started with a brief overview of the process followed by a quick tour around the outside of the house. As we walked around the house, Dwayne would point things out like damaged gutters, then snap a photo that we could reference later.
Next we went inside where Dwayne thoroughly examined each room, taking notes and photos all along the way. He tested for things like water pressure and whether or not the appliances, like the oven and gas furnace, were in safe, operating condition.
It was Dwayne’s inspection of the attic and crawl space, however, that were the most revealing, as these were two parts of the house that my husband and I had not seen with our own eyes.
After the inspection, Dwayne provided a summary of his findings and offered us a chance to ask any questions that we had.
We left the inspection feeling enlightened and informed. Yes, there was a lot of work that needed to be done, but thanks to Dwayne’s inspection, there would be no surprises later down the road.
The following morning, I checked my email to find a detailed report of the inspection, complete with photos, waiting in my inbox.
We reviewed the inspection report thoroughly before making a decision, weighing out the pros and cons of all the damages present and the necessary repairs we would need to perform.
A bit discouraged by how much work the house was going to need, my husband and I decided we still wanted to purchase the house under the condition that the seller would reduce the price. Using the inspection report as a tool, we were able to negotiate a lower sale price that would help cover the cost of some of the repairs.
The $400 inspection ended up saving us $7,000 at closing.
When buying a home, there are no customer reviews to help guide you in your purchase, and the “product” descriptions for most homes are fairly limited. Luckily, experienced home inspectors like Dwayne and his team at Boggs Inspection Services are able to provide in-depth home assessments, helping the buyer make an informed purchase.
If you are a first-time homebuyer, Dwayne says there are a few things to keep in mind when going through the home inspection process for the first time.
First and foremost, it’s important that you schedule your inspection with an experienced home inspector. “You don’t want the guy who’s been out there for six months,” he says. “Look at reviews online and get recommendations from friends.”
Second, you get what you pay for. “Don’t grab the cheapest inspector out there,” Dwayne adds. If $400 or $500 sounds like a lot of money, consider that a good, thorough inspection by an experienced home inspector could end up saving you thousands of dollars later on.
Finally, be prepared. Dwayne says the most common things that turn up during a home inspection are:
- Inadequate repairs
- Electrical issues
- Poor insulation
- Roof problems
Of those items, Dwayne says the most expensive item to repair or replace is the roof. And while moisture issues are not as common, if moisture damage is present, it will also cost you to repair.
With that in mind, Dwayne says major issues like the ones noted above shouldn’t necessarily discourage you from purchasing a home. “Anything can be fixed,” he says.
When purchasing a home that may require substantial repairs, use your inspection as a tool to help you make an informed decision and offer.
If you can work with the seller to bring the total cost of the house down or cover some of the repairs, a leaky roof or outdated electrical panel may not be a deal breaker.
Use your home inspection to help guide you through this process. Who knows, it may even save you thousands of dollars in the end.
Boggs Inspection Services provides home inspections in Thurston, Pierce and Lewis Counties. For more information or to schedule an inspection, call 360-480-9602 or visit Boggs Inspection Services online.