Buying a new home is a very big moment in a person’s life and an expensive endeavor to boot.
Add to this some context, e.g. a young couple buying their first home or a family with young children moving away from the hectic city into a more suburban area, and you see why it is crucial to make this a good investment.
Let’s take a look at the biggest home inspection mistakes that you should avoid if you want to save your money and your nerves.
1. Don’t cling onto your wallet with a death-grip
Trying to find the cheapest inspector is not a good tactic.
In fact, a cheap inspector will end up costing you more in the long run as he will not be qualified to perform a thorough inspection and chances are he is not going to have a very extensive checklist, nor the capability to notice little details that can lead to major problems.
If you hire a home inspector who can do a good job, but decide that you can live with some structural issues as long as they lower the price, you will end up living in a death trap and money vacuum of a house. Have the little problems fixed, but if there are too many problems, just look elsewhere.
2. Don’t hire “Janie’s cousin Bob” or “this guy I know”
This is quite a common scenario, especially when people are not doing so well financially or they want to give someone in their family an opportunity to make a bit of money.
Even if someone is willing to “help you out” and do it for free, just respectfully decline and get in touch with a property inspection company that has trained and certified professionals working for them.
3. Don’t take their word for it – ask to see some credentials
There are a lot of professional-looking and professional-sounding hacks out there, every profession has them. These loudmouths can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk, so ask to see some credentials.
What company do they work for? What information can they provide on that company? How long have they been working? What types of inspection are they certified to perform – radon testing, health and safety? Ask to see a sample report and interview several inspectors before making a decision.
4. Don’t just sit back and wait for the report
The best thing you can do is go along for the ride. Be at the inspector’s side and ask him about things that you don’t understand.
It’s easier to get a clear picture when you are staring at the problem point blank then when you have a short remark about it on a piece of paper.
5. Don’t rely on just one person to assess the state of the house
A property inspector is a jack of all trades, but the master of none. He can point you in the right direction and give you some basic information on the state of the plumbing, wiring, heating and structural integrity, but you will need to have a few specialists, e.g. electricians and plumbers, have a closer look at these specific aspects of your new home.
When all is said and done the best advice anyone can give you is to focus on getting the best property inspector available, then getting a more detailed look and following through with the recommended measures. A bit of maintenance work early on saves you a lot of trouble down the road.