When you buy anything, especially a new home, you should know everything about its functionality. Surprises are rarely a good thing, especially if they could have altered the price of the home had you known that information earlier.
Homeowners legally have to disclose certain information about the property they are selling, but these laws vary state by state. In states with a more relaxed approach, the seller may not be required to tell you every issue with the home. It would be up to you to find out as much information as you possibly can before you make an offer.
That's where home inspectors come in. They investigate potential problems with a home that could be hazardous or expensive to fix, and then they provide the prospective buyer with a report. The buyer can then use this information to negotiate the price if there are costly repairs to be done.
That being said, you need to make sure you hire the best home inspector you can find to ensure that they catch absolutely everything.
Here's how you can do that.
Like in every profession, there are some workers who go above and beyond and some that leave something to be desired. A home inspection is not something you should compromise on — you only want the best of the best.
Asking your friends and family in the area about their experiences with local home inspectors is a great way to kick off your search. If you know someone who hired a home inspector that neglected to report a critical issue in the home, you may want to steer clear from that particular professional. On the other hand, if you hear raving reviews from a trusted source about the home inspector who was shockingly thorough, you may have all the information you need to hire the best inspector around.
Not everyone has friends or family in the area who have hired a home inspector before. If you are the first person in your circle of friends to buy a home, you could be the guinea pig testing out the network of local professionals. Not to fear — you can still do plenty of research, thanks to online reviews.
Independent contractors or companies might have a section on their website for customer reviews, which is a great resource. There's also third-party websites specifically for reviews, like Yelp, that will likely have reviews on the home inspectors in your area. Scrolling through some of these reviews can shed some light on what home inspectors in the area did exceptionally, and what they could have done better.
A home inspection typically covers the same areas across the board, like plumbing, insulation, the structural integrity of the building, the electrical system and more. However, there might be some exceptions or additions, depending on the home inspector you hire.
To make sure you are getting the best value, read up on what the home inspection will include, or contact the inspector and ask for yourself if all of your areas of interest will be covered. You wouldn't want to hire someone only to find out their services don't include something you need.
At The Federal Savings Bank, we know that buying a home is a big step, and we can help you finance it. Contact us today for more information.