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Ben Sage, Moving Woodstock

6 Huge Home Inspection Mistakes

Posted on December 17, 2013 by Ben Sage in Buyer

Over the years in Real Estate, I have seen many buyers make mistakes surrounding the Home Inspection Process.

Here are 6 of the biggest:

1. Not getting a Home Inspection

  • Sure, you’ve worked in the HVAC business for three years – why would you need to PAY an INSPECTOR to do what you already know how to do?
  • There are many home inspectors in the business, but the fact is, any home inspector that I am going to recommend, knows what they are doing.  They know a little bit about a lot of things, and if they see trouble, they can refer you to a specialist that can determine the scope of the problem. 

2. Hiring Uncle Bob

  • This should really be 1.a.  Just because your uncle Bob will do it for a case of beer, and he’s been a plumber for 27 years, again, doesn’t make him qualified to inspect a home.  See #1.
  • Is Uncle Bob insured to be inspecting a house? What if he takes the cover off the hydro panel and electrocutes himself?  What if he falls down the ladder trying to get into the attic and breaks his leg or back?  Worse yet, what if he DOESN’T EVEN INSPECT THE ATTIC???  I’ve seen it.  Believe me.  Get a pro.  Once again, See #1.

3. Not Attending the Inspection

  • Buyer’s always ask me “Should I be at the inspection?”
  • There’s no debating this. This is likely the biggest investment of your life.  Be there.  If there’s a problem that requires attention by the homeowner, is to be negotiated into the deal, or worse yet, is a deal breaker, you better be there to see it with your own eyes!
  • I always say “the home inspection is for your benefit.  It’s really in your best interest to attend.”

4. Ignoring the Recommendations of the Home Inspector

  • All homes have deficiencies.  Some things are obvious and expected, like “Run downspouts away from foundation” or, “outlet near the sink needs a GFI.”  The thing to remember is to implement these changes once you’re the homeowner.
  • Little preventative maintenance effort ensures the endurance of your home.  It also minimizes the potential for bigger problems down the road, and makes your home more marketable when you decide to sell!

5. Underestimating / Overestimating Costs

  • If you see a deficiency that you are working to overcome (either by the seller remedying, or taking it on yourself), it is dangerous to “guesstimate” at the cost.  I can recommend skilled local tradespeople to help assess the cost of all kinds of everyday household problems.

6. Overestimating the scope of the inspection.

  • As mentioned above, home inspectors know a little bit about a lot of things.  They can only inspect what they can see, and cannot cause any exploratory damage in a home.  They have equipment to test wiring, look for water in places it shouldn’t be, look for poor insulation, and can visually inspect many other elements of a home.  They are not magic, and cannot see behind walls/under floors.
  • Understanding what a home inspector can and cannot inspect is important when considering your inspection phase.
  • If the home has an obvious, specific problem (ex, cracks in foundation), ask me to refer you to a specialist in that field.  I have contacts in every industry, for that exact purpose!

When it comes time to have an inspection, I can be an advisor on the type of inspections required, who to hire to perform the inspection, and how to use inspection clauses in your offer to purchase.

Don’t make these mistakes, and you should get good value from your inspector.

 


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