When buying a Windsor home you will need to get a home inspection. And take my word for it, this is something you must never ignore. I can’t tell you how many stories there are in the real estate world of buyers who didn’t get a proper home inspection and lived to regret it. Not only did they lose thousands of dollars in unexpected home repair, but also the stress and financial strain truly turned a dream home into a nightmare.
Another nightmare? Hiring a bad home inspector. How can you protect yourself from having an unqualified person handle your inspection?
1. Ask For A Sample Home Inspection Report:
Want to know what an inspector is looking for? Ask them to email you a copy of a sample report. All reports vary in length, but anything less than five pages is not good. On average, you want a comprehensive report that can be anywhere from 20 pages on up. Make sure photographs accompany the report, which shows the problems or repairs needed.
2. Inspectors Should Not Recommend:
Be wary of those contractors who offer to direct you to a contractor or other business to handle your repairs. This can be a serious conflict of interest and not something I would ever recommend.
3. How Long Will It Take?
If a home inspector promises to be right in and out, time to start looking for someone else. A good, thorough home inspection should take several hours, at least three, maybe longer. The last thing you want is an inspector that rushes through his job and calls for repairs that are not needed. A buyer can get scared off thinking the house is in bad shape, and may cancel the sale when in reality, the home inspector just did a lousy job.
4. Charges for Re-inspection:
All homes have defects. There is always something wrong, though the repairs may be minor. Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect home, even if its new construction. If you need an inspector to come back and see if a repair has been made correctly, ask if they charge for this service.
Attend Home Inspection:
I strongly suggest that a buyer attend a home inspection whenever possible. At the very least, be there for part of it. This is a one-time opportunity to get information on what repairs are needed and whether they are major or minor issues. Also, it’s a good opportunity to find out where circuit breakers water and gas turnoffs are located. Any questions you have about the home and its condition should be asked at this time.
You want to make sure you ask friends, family and your real estate agent for referrals before hiring a contractor. And believe me, this is not the time to hire a relative or good friend who dabbles in the business on the side. You want a professional inspector with the correct certifications and licenses. Good real estate agents demand qualified inspectors because the last thing they want is their buyer to have problems with a home that they have fallen in love with.
1. Don’t hire the cheapest inspector you can find. It has been our experience that the best inspectors charge more. Now is not the time to skimp, as you want the best inspector for your property. In the long run, it may cost you more if the less expensive inspector misses a problem.
2. You should get a home inspection report within a few days, if not sooner. Anything that takes longer than that is usually not done by a professional inspector. They know you need this information as soon as possible.
3. When hiring an inspector, ask if they go on the roof and into the crawl space. Some do, others charge extra.
4. Check to see if your inspector has had any complaints or problems in the past.
5. Even if a home has had a pre-inspection, still hire your own. We are finding that more and more homeowners are getting their homes an inspection to show potential buyers that there home is in good shape. First, inspect the date and make sure it’s not more than a few months old. Second, and it’s worth repeating, hire your own as well by an inspector you trust.