What You Need to Know Before a Home Inspection

what you need to know before a home inspection

Buying a new home is a major investment, and the decision can result in a slew of emotions. Since it’s such a major decision, it’s important to be sure and to be as in-the-know as possible. Not only does being well-informed help you avoid potential problems, but you’ll be able to rest a little more easily at night. Wondering how you can quell a large bit of this anxiety and gather necessary information? A proper home inspection should do the trick.

Consider Your Home of Interest

Many homes may have been lived-in by an owner (or several), but even new houses can have problems. With any property that you are seriously thinking about buying, you’ll want to have a full home inspection. If you’re unsure what to ask your home inspector, be sure to check out our post, questions to ask during a home inspection. A home inspection is not as simple as making sure the plumbing works. In fact, it is an important step in the buying process that requires a knowledgeable, experienced inspector who can help you spot potential problems years before you find yourself dealing with a leaky roof or a quaky foundation.

Look for an Experienced, Certified Home Inspector

We suggest finding a professional inspector with years of experience and great customer reviews to ensure that nothing is missed during the home inspection process. After all, it’s unlikely that even with a thorough but brief education you’d be able to point out what they can. 

A good indicator of a quality home inspector is whether or not they are certified by one of several professional organizations for home inspectors. While there are qualified inspectors in all of these organizations, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) stands out because it requires testing before an inspector can become a member. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) do not, but like NACHI, both offer continuing education, resources, and support to their members.

You can find a certified inspector through any of the above websites, but whomever you choose, check reviews from other consumers and make sure you’re comfortable enough with him or her to ask questions.

Familiarize Yourself with What Your Inspector Will Do

No home inspector will be able to look at every inch of the house during the inspection. However, your inspector will certainly check for the following. In most cases, they have a checklist of things to inspect, which mainly deal with:

  • Drainage away from the foundation of the home
  • Any presence of water damage coming through the roof, walls, what have you
  • The safety of the electrical work

Before he or she begins the inspection, ask your home inspector exactly what’s on the list. If there’s anything your inspector wasn’t planning to examine that you’d like to add, ask if he or she can inspect it. If not, it may be worth hiring a specialist, depending on the severity of the issue.

Recognize the Benefits of Accompanying Your Home Inspector

There’s simply no substitute for watching a home inspection yourself. Sifting through long-winded written reports doesn’t exactly sound fun as an alternative. To avoid confusion or missing information, prepare yourself to walk around with the inspector during the inspection. Moreover, their answers to your questions will be much more thorough in person than they would be in a written report. It’s all about keeping communication open and clear. 

Be sure to check back here each week for more help on buying or selling a home. We’re also happy to deliver plenty of lifestyle and decorating tips, too. You can also connect with us on Facebook or right from our site. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Let’s Recap What You Need to Know Before a Home Inspection

Here’s what you need to know before a home inspection in brief:

  1. Consider your home of interest: Regardless if the home you have your eye on is old or new, home inspections are crucial. 
  2. Look for an experienced, certified home inspector: Someone with years of experience as well as knowledge of the homes and builders in your area is preferable. 
  3. Familiarize yourself with what your inspector will do: What are the “hot points” of the home? What issues can result in unwanted expenses?
  4. Recognize the benefits of accompanying your home inspector: Seeing for yourself what your home inspector evaluates can help you learn pertinent details and recognize what needs to be addressed first. 

Have you had a home inspection? Share your experience and suggestions in the comments!

This post was originally published on February 6, 2014, but was updated on February 24, 2020. 

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