Almost all of us have been there: We see a house for sale seemingly fitting our dreams. It’s big, gorgeous, and in a great location. Before we know it, we’ve scheduled a showing of the home, prepared to put an offer on the property at the earliest moment possible–no matter the price, you love it that much! But then we walk through the front door and realize the curb appeal is the only thing drawing us to buy the home. There’s obvious damage that goes beyond the normal wear and tear of any home, the electrical doesn’t work, the plumbing is faulty, and that’s only the things you can notice in the first couple minutes of walking through the property.
It’s because of moments like these home inspections are so valuable in your search for a home. The average home inspection costs between $300 and $500. Although buying a home “as is” can save you from the fees of a home inspection, home inspectors are trained to see things you don’t.
Things To Consider First
A home inspection can warn you of–if not save you from–making a purchase which isn’t worth your investment, however, there are at least three things you can do beforehand in order to get the most out of the professional inspection.
One: Ask for a copy of the current owner’s Disclosure Form: All Kosciusko and other Indiana homeowners, regardless of how they choose to sell their home are legally required to produce a Disclosure Form. This is a form the owner fills out which discloses known issues of the home, whether that be a plumbing issue, an older roof, a questionable air conditioner, or anything else they may consider problematic.
This form assists both you as the prospective buyer and the seller later on in the negotiation process. Right off the bat, though, it will tell you what areas of the home you need to guarantee get looked at during the inspection. Keep in mind this form does not legally bind the owner to reveal everything you may consider problematic, however, it is a good starting point.
Two: Know what to look for: Looking for a home can be incredibly exciting! That excitement can often blind a potential buyer to the things that are important to make note of. As you walk through the home, couple that excitement with a knowledgeable eye of things that may impact your decision. Issues such as unstable walls, water damage, and damaged or out-of-date appliances are great examples. If you see anything questionable, make sure the inspector you hire addresses those questions. Their professional opinion on what those issues will mean for you will be a welcomed voice in your overall decision.
Three: Ask a trusted realtor: It’s important to have an inspector who is thorough (don’t forget, a worthwhile inspection can take two or three hours) and capable to give you the tools to move forward in your purchasing of a home. As a potential buyer, you are responsible for contracting the inspection. Trustworthy realtors who are knowledgeable about the businesses in the surrounding Kosciusko areas, such as Kim Clark can assist you in finding affordable inspectors who will be worth your time.
What To Remember
Home inspections are one of the best investments a person can have when looking into buying a home. Because of all the information an inspection provides, make sure your closing contract includes that your agreement is based on whether the knowledge provided by the inspection is acceptable. As the buyer, you can either have your realtor request that the seller fix any major issues found before closing, or the seller may provide a financial credit to assist in making those repairs after closing and on your own timetable.
A home inspector is primarily looking for anything that affects your safety, which means issues you have with anything cosmetic in a home is not something this particular process helps you resolve. However, if the inspector suspects an issue which a certified professional needs to assist you with such as insects, or Radon issues, they are often able to suggest which inspection you may need.
Knowledge Is Power
Every home comes with its own projects–some big, some small. In the end, if you love a home, even despite the quirks you find, you’ll find those projects endearing rather than cumbersome. Allow yourself to move forward with a full picture of what those projects entail, rather than being shocked with the issues after your purchase is final.