Home inspections are a critical component to assessing a property’s value and well-being.
However, thousands of people mess things up and go down the wrong path when it comes to this step. To ensure you are not one of those people, it’s time to look at 15 tips for getting the most out of a home inspection.
1. Prepare in Advance
One of the best things, to begin with, would be an open mind.
It’s always smart to think about what the inspection is going to entail so you are not caught off-guard.
This is one of the main reasons people get perplexed and find the process frustrating when it doesn’t have to be.
Think about what the process is going to require from you and what you want out of it.
This is the only way to prepare for the moment and make sure the inspection goes ahead as smoothly as necessary.
2. Go With A Trusted Home Inspector
Choosing a respected home inspector is never a bad idea as this will fill you with confidence.
Going into the process with someone that hasn’t done it in the past or doesn’t have a positive track record will leave you nervous and out of options.
Be smart and put in the time to find a world-class home inspector before the big day.
This shouldn’t be someone that comes from a real estate agent as they will have their own connections.
The best approach is to go with a third party and bring them into the process as soon as possible.
We’ve been known to handle a lot of home inspections for both homeowners and investors, so we do pride ourselves on being trusted by both sides!
3. Ask for Photos
Asking for photos is a major step in the right direction and it has a lot to do with documentation.
You want to collect as much tangible information as possible about what is going on around the property.
Quality home inspectors will take the time to break these things down and pinpoint the hard to reach areas.
These photographs are best to have because you may not be able to get to those spots in the house on your own.
Instead, let the home inspector do it so you are more than well prepared for what is in those places.
4. Ask Questions Freely
Don’t be afraid to ask questions because that is how you will get more out of the inspection.
It can also be a great way to get a feel for what is going on and how it will end up in the long-term.
The questions can be about anything whether it has to do with their equipment, processes, or what they are seeing as soon as they go into places such as the attic or basement.
Remember, you are paying for the inspection and asking questions is your right during the process.
Don’t ignore this when you get started!
5. Emphasize the Roof
What is one of the hardest places to reach as a property owner?
It would have to be the rooftop.
The roof is one of those areas that can be neglected and it is not a good look for those who are setting things in motion.
Instead of investing in something that isn’t going to let you take a peek at the rooftop, you want a home inspector that is willing to put in the time on this part.
They should be ready to go up there if that is what you need from them.
It is the bare minimum in most cases!
6. Run Your Own Mini Inspection
This is one of those tips people don’t think about because they assume only a home inspector should look around.
It is important to remember you are the one that is putting money into the asset and it is in your best interest to run a mini inspection around the property.
You may not have the same techniques or equipment as a professional but you can still take a look at the major details.
This is all information that can be collected for later on and that is never a bad thing.
A mini home inspection can be a good way to fill in the gaps if there are any.
7. Assess the Outlets
The outlets are spread around the property and each one is going to have its own wiring and connections.
If you are not testing all of them, you are not doing enough.
The home inspector will have an electrical unit that is able to take an accurate reading from the outlet.
Make sure they are doing this and not ignoring specific outlets because an inefficient outlet isn’t something you want to be unaware of.
You want to know about it immediately and that will have to include the use of a testing device.
8. Don’t Ignore Shoddy Cosmetic Changes
Whether it is painting over a certain spot or hiding cracks, you do not want to be on the wrong end of a shoddy cosmetic change.
It happens all the time and a lot of people invest in solutions that aren’t going to cut it.
People need to go ahead and invest in cosmetic changes that are worth it.
This is why having a feel for what has already been done can be a smart thing to do with a home inspector.
You will be able to get a good read on this as soon as the professional takes a look.
9. Test the Plumbing Setup
The plumbing is one of the most common problems with properties and a qualified home inspector is going to know this.
Therefore, you want to make sure each component attached to the plumbing is tested.
This can include the faucets, toilets, and exterior connections that are used for watering purposes.
If there is a hose attached outside, you want to test that too!
All of this is going to make life easier when it comes to keeping the plumbing system in good shape as time goes on. Don’t ignore the plumbing!
10. Don’t Ignore the Attic
You will want to also take a look at the attic and see what is going on at all times.
If you ask most people, they will agree that the attic is often ignored.
It has a lot to do with no one using the space and people simply leave it out of the equation.
However, the attic is still a part of the structure and has to be in good shape.
Most of the roofing damage can be assessed from the attic especially if there is an ongoing leak/crack.
You will be well aware of it as soon as the attic is inspected.
11. Assess the Basement
Take the time to assess the basement just like you will with the attic.
Property owners need to have a lot of information about their basement because flooding issues can happen if there are foundational concerns.
A qualified inspector will be able to take a peek at what is going on and how it can be handled over the long-term.
This is good information to keep in mind as you look to focus on maintaining the basement’s integrity.
If you don’t focus on these details, the basement might become a point of concern, which is never a good thing.
12. Look at the Furnace and Water Heater
Along with the plumbing, it is best to emphasize the furnace and water heater.
These are key parts of the property and need to be in good shape.
Along with how they are functioning, you also want to take a peek at the dates they were set up or manufactured.
All of this information is going to let you keep the pieces running around the clock without having to think about anything.
A property can start to pose a lot of issues if these details aren’t accounted for.
You will want a professional to take a look.
13. Run a Soil Test
A soil test is key because it can tell a lot about the exterior and how safe it is.
If there are landscaping issues that are going to pop up, you will want to be aware of them via the soil test.
14. Check the Sewage System
Along with the soil test, you will also want to take a peek at the sewage system to see how things are flowing.
15. Take Notes
The final tip is to take notes because this is the only way you will remember what has transpired and what you need to think about.
Bringing in the professional is all about taking notes.
A home inspection is an important investment and is one of the best ways to gauge a property’s value.
If this isn’t handled properly, it can lead to major repairs down the road that could have been avoided with preventative solutions.
You can also check out this video for some additional tips with home inspections:
Take the time to find a good home inspector and go through the checklist one by one.
As long as you follow these tips, you will end up with a well-rounded inspection that’s worth the price of admission!