Home Buying a Home The Ultimate Home Inspection Checklist

The Ultimate Home Inspection Checklist

by Kimberly Fischer
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You’ve finally put an offer down on your dream home. Congratulations! You’re nearly a full-fledged homeowner! You can’t wait to settle into your new nest and make it your own. But not so fast. First, you must inspect.

As the homebuyer, it’s your responsibility to hire a professional inspector to examine the property and tell you about its condition. A detailed home inspection will let you know exactly what you can expect from your purchase. It should be safe, secure, and meet local building codes.

Your prospective home may look beautiful and shiny to the untrained eye. A fresh lick of paint and new countertops can mask bigger problems beneath the surface.

Fortunately, an inspector is trained to identify issues that may slip past the average house-hunter. Once the inspection is complete, your inspector will prepare a thorough report on the state of the house. They can tell you what, if anything, will need immediate attention, and what minor fixes can wait until after the move.

This process can be a bit nerve-wracking, but it’s also thrilling. With a savvy inspector on board, you’re sure to get the best results. If everything goes well, you’ll soon be tying up all the loose ends and relaxing in your new home.

So, let’s dive into our comprehensive inspection checklist. Here’s everything you need to know about your home inspection.

What You Need To Know About Home Inspections

When to Inspect

After you make an offer on the home, you’ll have a specific window of time in which to get the property inspected. It could be as long as a week or two or as short as a few days. If you’re buying in springtime, keep in mind that this is a real estate agent’s busy season. It helps to have your home inspector picked out early in the home-buying process, especially if the inspection window is short. 

The Right Person for the Job

When it comes to buying a home, you want to know that you’re making the right decision, and a good inspector will help you do just that. But how do you know which one is best? 

The right person for the job will be licensed in the trade, with experience under their belt, and lots of good reviews to their name. Do your research and do lots of it. Consider asking them for a sample inspection report. Read online reviews and check with friends, family, or even your real estate agent.

The Cost

An average home inspection can cost between $300 and $600. However, it can fluctuate based on the inspector you hire, the size, type, and age of the building, and the amount of work that needs to be done.

During the Inspection

We recommend that you be present during your home inspection. It’s not a requirement, but it has a few benefits. It will help give you an idea of the kind of repairs you’re looking at, and you’ll be able to see how thoroughly your inspector does their job. Another plus, watching your inspector can teach you some essential tips and tricks about how to identify problems with your house later down the road. An inspection typically takes a few hours.

The Home Inspection Checklist

Here are all the items your home inspector will need to check:

Exterior

  • Roofing
  • Water diverting systems
  • Grading
  • Windows, doors, and trim
  • Window wells
  • Brickwork and/or siding
  • Steps, stairs, and railings
  • Decks, porches, and balconies

Interior

  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Light switches and outlets
  • Electrical panel
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Attic
  • Basement

Not every inspector will cover the same components of the home. Make a list of things you’d like them to have a look at beforehand. Your inspector will let you know if it’s not an area they deal with or if they charge an additional fee for the extra work.

Nobody’s Perfect

It’s worth noting that even the best, most practiced professionals can’t inspect things that they can’t see. It’s against an inspector’s policy to damage any part of the building that they’re investigating. If there is significant damage that isn’t visible to the naked eye, your inspector won’t be able to report on it. It’s just not part of their job, and unfortunately, they don’t have x-ray vision.

Still, there are ways to avoid paying out if your inspector makes avoidable mistakes. Check the contract, or consider consulting with a legal expert if you feel the errors are negligent.

Reporting for Duty

Once the inspection is complete, ask your inspector for a copy of their report. Read it carefully and keep it on file. You can use this tool to help when negotiating the repairs with the seller, and you can always refer back to it if you need future repairs or inspections.

Negotiating Repairs

When your home inspection is behind you, it’s time to haggle with the seller over the repairs. It’s almost inevitable that there will be a few things here and there that need fixing – unless the house is brand new and in perfect condition. Those updates will have to be sorted out between you and the seller. If the home needs significant repairs, you can decide whether you want to back out of your offer, or you can negotiate with the seller. They may have to settle the repairs as a condition of the sale, or they might offer you a sum of money upon closing the deal so you can do the repairs yourself.

And with that, you’re ready to make your decision. Whether you decide to purchase the house or move on to the next one, you’re armed with information and prepared for whatever comes next in your home-buying adventure.

Are you ready to buy a home? Reach out to REX today and discover a different way to do it.

Interested in buying or selling a home? We would love to help!

Give us a call at 855-205-0599

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