Home inspections often bookend the property purchasing process. Unfortunately, many buyers fail to give this final step the respect it deserves. As a result, costly structural problems sometimes slip through the cracks.
So, before you start unloading boxes and inviting over guests, call up your local home inspection company and schedule time with a state-certified inspector. Once he or she arrives, pay attention and avoid making some common and costly home inspection faux pas.
Failing to attend
Attending your own home inspection is absolutely essential, Trulia reported. Not only will you learn more about your new home and gain valuable maintenance advice, but you'll also be there to make sure nothing unscrupulous happens. Sometimes, inspectors take advantage of absentee homeowners and pass up hard to reach areas.
"If it's raining, the home inspector may avoid inspecting some exterior areas, such as the deck or crawl spaces," real estate attorney Rob Pellegrini told Trulia.
To prevent such an oversight, attend your inspection and pay attention. In the end, it's worth the time investment.
Not asking questions
During the inspection, don't be afraid to ask questions and seek out understanding. Some homeowners are too afraid to break in with questions or too embarrassed to admit they don't know something. Unless you're an architect or general contractor, you shouldn't be concerned about embarrassing yourself. Instead, focus on learning as much about your new home as possible.
Most inspectors are prepared to answer questions and justify their conclusions, Angie's List reported. So, fire away.
Having lofty expectations
Sometimes, homeowners expect inspectors to uncover every issue and save them thousands of dollars. Of course, these sort of expectations normally set the stage for major disappointment. So, don't go down this path. Instead, be realistic, NBC News advised. Even the most qualified inspectors overlook things occasionally. And, remember, they can only inspect what they can see.
"We can't see through walls," Frank Lesh, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors, told NBC News. "And we can't tear into walls and look for things."
The only thing you can do is stay even-keeled and set yourself up for success by carefully vetting prospective inspectors. Ask family, neighbors and friends for recommendations and read online reviews. Additionally, ensure that your candidates belong to key professional organizations like ASHI or the National Association of Home Inspectors.
Not respecting the report
Inspectors normally issue reports upon finishing their walkthrough. In some cases, buyers on the cusp of closing disregard these reports. Others play down serious problems and put off repairs. Don't do either of these things. Carefully read your report and focus on key features like the foundation, the roof and the heating and cooling and electrical systems. If your new home shows signs of catastrophic damage in any of these areas, don't be afraid to pull out of the sale.