Once you buy or rent a home, the next thing on your to-do list should…
Did your offer get accepted? If so, congratulations! One of the first major items in the escrow process is the home inspection. Hopefully you took some time for yourself to have a quick celebration but with the escrow clock ticking you will need to get right down to business so that the closing is smooth and on time. Hopefully you already informed your lender of the accepted offer so they can get moving on your financing. Be sure to also contact your insurance agent to get your coverage ready.
Look for an inspector.
Your realtor will most likely have a recommendation for you on a home inspector but if they don’t ask the closing agent or your lender for a recommendation and get the home inspection scheduled. It is imperative to get a reputable inspector so that you can uncover any potential issues with the home. Keep in mind that only 29 states actually require the inspector to be licensed as scary as that sounds. The inspection will typically be paid by you as the buyer and it is worth every penny unless of course you are a home inspector yourself.
Be present during the inspection.
If an inspector does not want you there then that is a red flag. Look for a new inspector. The seller will not typically be there and it is preferable that they are not so that the inspector gets a completely unbiased opinion of the home. While the inspector goes through the house feel free to ask questions and I am sure he will want to show you several items.
After the physical inspection is complete, the inspector will deliver a report to you over the next few days.
So what should you expect from the inspection report?
Don’t get scared – the report may be lengthy – all homes have issues especially older homes. As long as you have a good inspector all the issues will be pointed out. The items you want to pay attention to are any major red flags. Small items can easily be fixed and many times you can have the sellers fix them prior to you moving in. Major red flags include items such as foundation problems, joist issues, floor support items or roof problems. A good inspector will point these out to you to pay special attention to.
Once you have reviewed the report you have to decide if you want to fix the items after closing or amend the offer to ask the seller to fix certain items prior to closing.
Don’t get too picky on the little items but do pay attention to any medium or large issues to have the sellers fix as part of the purchase agreement or look to amend the purchase price to account for the issues that you may need to fix after you move in. If the problems are more than you can bear, then sometimes you have to simply walk away and look for the next property. Good luck!!