When you go through the process to buy a home, the home inspection will become one of the most important tools you will use. It won't be done until you've had an offer accepted, but once the offer is accepted, the inspection is usually next.
A home inspection will look at the home and tell you if it needs repairs. You will also find out if the repairs are major or minor. Make sure you get a home inspection and make sure you know these five things before you go into the home buying process.
Home Inspections Look for Big Issues
You won't learn everything about a home from a home inspection. Inspectors are looking for large issues and looking at specific areas of the home. They will focus on the integrity of the house and how safe it is for someone to live in.
Your inspection won't mention smaller problems like a light fixture that doesn't work or a dripping faucet. Instead, they will look at the electrical work, foundation, load-bearing walls, plumbing, and overall safety of the home.
You have a Choice
You don't have to choose a specific home inspector when you have an offer accepted. You can choose any home inspector you want and your real estate agent will likely be able to recommend one. However, you don't have to take anybody's advice on this. Choose a home inspector you feel comfortable with and you believe will do the job the way you would expect.
An Inspector's Code of Ethics
While home inspectors are doing work for the person paying them, the inspector has a code of ethics. They will not intentionally omit or hide an issue with the home. The report will also be private between you and the inspector.
If you're the seller, however, you will be required to disclose any issues with the home the inspection reveals. Sometimes, sellers will get their own home inspection done ahead of time, which is always a good idea. If something shows up, the seller has to disclose the issue to the buyer.
The Inspection Report
The report you will receive will include hundreds of items from the home. It will include anything that is damaged or needs to be repaired. The home inspection report should be very easy to read and understand.
No Liability for the Inspector
The home inspection isn't going to find every single problem with the home. Even the very best inspectors are still human. They won't be able to see inside the walls of the home or through the floors. There could be issues they simply cannot find without breaking into a wall, which a home inspector won't do.
For this reason, home inspectors are not held liable if you buy a home with a clean inspection and a problem comes up later.
There are several things to understand about the home buying process and the home inspection. Make sure you have a basic understanding of what to expect and a good real estate agent ready to help you throughout the entire buying process.
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