What Really Matters in a Home Inspection
Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but it often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information over a short time. This includes a written report, photographs, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this combined with the seller’s disclosure and what you notice yourself make the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do?
Relax. Inspectors are professionals, and as a member of InterNACHI, you can trust that we are among the most highly trained in the industry. Most of your inspection will be related to maintenance recommendations and minor imperfections. These are good to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
- major defects: an example of this would be a structural failure;
- things that lead to major defects: a small roof-flashing leak, for example;
- things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home; and
- safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often, a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair anything, much less everything, mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter.
Remember that your real estate agent has seen hundreds of homes and home inspection reports, and they also can be a valuable resource for putting your home inspection report in perspective. Your agent can help navigate the very important process of weighing the concerns regarding your potential purchase against its benefits, and deciding how to proceed in your real estate transaction with the information you receive from your inspector.
Finally, please remember that we at HomeCheck Inspection Service are here to help you make the most informed decision possible regarding the condition of your future home; we are always here to answer your questions regarding our inspections, both at the time of the inspection, and as questions arise down the road.