You probably know the basics of a home inspection – a professional comes over and checks the house for problems, right? But home inspections are actually filled with opportunities to learn, receive important documents and test for additional issues. Here's how to really benefit from an inspection.
Certifications Are Required
Look for a home inspector that is certified in your area. This is particularly important if you are looking for your own inspection ahead of a legal contract, such as a mortgage or another type of home loan. Most real estate professionals prefer inspectors that are certified through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Plus, certified inspectors are more likely to know what they're doing!
Be Present at the Inspection
This piece of advice is perennial: Always make time to show up for your home inspection. Take notes on important facts, ask key questions about what inspectors find, and generally be aware of what's going on. It doesn't matter if you are buying, selling or trying to fix a problem, you should show up for the inspection – the inspector can usually provide advice and info that you won't find in the written report. Plus, you can help remove any obstacles!
Remember Letters and Reports
Inspections should come with an official report and any other certified documents that you may need. This includes termite letters, which state that the house is free of termite problems – a very important document for a homeowner thinking about selling! Even general reports are excellent for seeing what needs renovation or upkeep, or what you should keep an eye on. In other words, the inspection should always include a final product for you to keep and use.
Test Air Quality
The typical home inspection focuses on structural components inside the home itself. That includes the foundation, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, windows, floors/walls, insulation and even inside the walls, thanks to the latest infrared technology services. However,look for a company that also offers mold and radon testing. Mold loves hiding in moist places and can be incrediblyhazardous to your health (and expensive to remedy) if left unchecked, whileradon is a radioactive gas that seeps up from the ground and can also beharmful. If your region has experienced mold or radon issues, include these inspections.
Look for Warranties
Not all home inspections come with warranties, but they can be a valuable addition. A 90-day warranty on a home inspection can help guarantee that any unnoticed mechanical or structural issues are dealt with, free of charge.
Take the Next Step
Don't sit on your inspection report! Schedule any important repairs or necessary maintenance to help improve your home based on what you have learned. This is an especially good idea for buyers, who should try to fix any important issues before they fully move in.