Capitalizing on the Value of a Home Inspection

Purchasing a home is a major investment and demands your best efforts at due diligence. You wouldn’t buy a used car without driving it around the block and having it checked over by a trusted mechanic; why would buying a home be any different? An accurate home inspection in Philadelphia, PA, is your key to making a wise home purchase with peace of mind.

Here are four tips for getting the most value from a home inspection:

  1. Hire an experienced inspector

Your realtor may be able to point you in the direction of a trusted inspector. You can also ask around to find referrals from friends or family. Beyond a solid word-of-mouth recommendation, you should look for the following:

       Specific experience. Some homes require specific expertise. Examples include old homes or homes with pools. Make certain the inspector you hire is qualified to offer an opinion on all elements of the home you’re considering.

       Quality reports. The home inspection report is typically extensive, but it should be easy to read and understand. It should also be informative. Ask to see samples of reports to get an idea for yourself of what you’ll be getting.

       Advanced technology. It should come as no surprise that technological advancements are improving home inspections. Infrared cameras, precision measuring equipment, drones, and scopes are allowing inspectors to look at homes very closely.

  1. Do Your Own Inspection

One of the best ways to get good value from your home inspection is to prepare by doing your own walkthrough first. Grab a pen, paper, camera, and flashlight and walk through the home from top to bottom inside and out. Take careful notes of what you see and write down questions. Your questions can include anything, from “what’s that strange brown spot on the ceiling in the upstairs bathroom?” to “how do I change the filters in the HVAC unit?”

  1. Attend the Inspection

On the day of the inspection, be there. Bring your notes, wear comfy shoes, and leave kids and pets at home. Ask the inspector your questions and get his or her impressions of the home. The inspector will not tell you whether or not the house passes or fails; that’s not how these things work. They will, however, tell you if they see safety issues or can identify major, costly repairs that need to be made. Good inspectors will walk through the home with you and talk you through their findings.

  1. Use the Report

An inspection report is an invaluable tool for two things:

Negotiations: With the home inspection report in hand, it’s time to revisit the negotiating table. You will not, and should not, be able to demand the seller fix every issue identified in the report. You do need to address the big stuff, though. You can ask the seller to make repairs, ask for a price concession so you can make the needed repairs, or you can walk away from the deal.

Budgeting: Your inspection report is a guide to owning that home for the short and longer-term. Use this information to budget home maintenance and repairs costs. With the help of the report, you’ll know about how much life is left in the roof, the HVAC system, and other components. Plan and budget accordingly so you’re not caught off guard when it’s time for repairs.

The Bottom Line

A home inspection is a critical tool. Use these tips to get the most value from the experience and the report so you can buy with confidence.

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