Inspections, Should I?

This is an easy answer, in most cases! YES, YES, YES!

 

There are times when it might be beneficial to forgo the inspection, but very few times.  If you already know the property, then maybe you don't need the inspection.  Or, if you are trying to put yourself into the best negotiation position and the inspection is something you are willing to give up, it might be just the thing to give you an edge in negotiations.

 

How do you pick an inspector, and what does the inspector do?  Two very good questions.  First, remember that the inspector is working for you, not the agent(s) or the seller.  You should personally call inspectors and interview them.  Make sure they are licensed and bonded.  Ask which professional societies they belong to, how long they have been in the business, are they full time or part time, etc.  Get references! Your agent can likely give you some names to start with.  You can also do a search online for the area where you are buying. There is no price control over inspectors, so find out what they charge and what they do for you.  Not all inspectors are licensed to do all inspections.  While some may be qualified to do a full house inspection, including mold, WDO and wind mitigation, others may only do one of these types of inspections. If you are financing your new home then you will likely be required to have a WDO (Wood Destroying Organism) inspection.  We commonly call this a Termite Inspection, but it is really more than that. You will probably want a wind mitigation inspection for your insurance company.  It can lower your insurance considerably.

 

So what does your inspector look at?  Normally they will get on the roof and evaluate the condition.  They will walk around the house and check the exterior, grade, etc.  Then appliances will be checked for property operation, the electric panel will be opened to make sure it is wired properly and check GFI outlets to make sure they work. Doors, windows, electric outlets, fans, etc. will be checked.  They generally do not open A/C units, but check for temperatures. Pools, hot tubs, etc are the same.  They will normally do a cursory inspection and then if they suspect something is wrong they will let you know so you can have a full inspection done on that item. They will make note of items of concern and normally take photos as well.  Keep in mind that the inspector is looking for everything that he/she can find.  Just because they flag an item it doens't mean that the item is a critical problem.

 

This inspection is your property and does not need to be shared with anyone, unless you want to!  The WDO obviously will be shared with the lender and the Wind Mitigation will be shared with the insurance compan, but the basic home inspection is for your purposes.  Most inspectors will email you the inspection, or a link to it.  They will usually also copy the agent on the inspection reports.

 

Next time we should talk about 'AS IS' contracts and how the inspection affects them!