If you’ve searched around Utah for the perfect home, and you’ve finally found it, how can you be sure it’s in the right condition and not a secret money pit? A home inspection is the best way to ensure that a home that might look like it’s in excellent condition actually IS in excellent condition. Far too often homebuyers select homes that look great, but find out quickly that the appliances in the home are in poor condition, the insulation isn’t meeting standards and a handful of other “I wish I would’ve known” issues have occurred. Home inspections are designed to bring you information about the home to help you make the right decision.
How to Find a Home Inspector
First-time home buyers often assume the bank has the best contacts when it comes to home inspections. People allow the bank or a realtor to order a home inspection report for them, or they skip the inspection altogether. As a first-time home buyer, it is important to understand that hiring a home inspector is your responsibility.
What to Ask a Home Inspector
A home buyer needs to do research on a home inspector to ensure they are hiring someone who is qualified. Home inspectors must be certified as it is required by Utah law. When you contact a home inspector, you need to ask them a few basic questions to ensure they do have the experience and qualifications needed to do the job:
- Are you certified to perform home inspections in Utah?
- How many years have you been doing inspections?
- Will you walk me around the house and explain some of the things you are inspecting?
- Do you have a sample report I can see?
- Do you provide any ancillary inspections?
Remember, a home inspector is not here to tell you if you should buy a home or not, their job is to provide you with the information needed to make an educated decision.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection
A home inspector will come into your home and will start covering areas of the home that need to be examined including the following:
- The heating and cooling system
- Plumbing system
- Electrical system
- Attic and insulation levels
- Core structural components
When you schedule an appointment, you will need to ask how long the inspection will take, and how soon you can expect to receive a report. A good inspector will not have a problem if you choose to stay during the inspection and you’d like to ask some questions during the inspection.
During the inspection, you may notice the inspector making notes frequently as they check all areas of the home. Notes are used for many of the lenders that require formalized reports as part of the home-buying process. Most inspection reports will include a deadline as to when the information needs to be submitted to the lender.
What a Home Inspector Does
The average home inspection takes two to three hours, depending upon the size of the home. A detailed walk-through is a critical component of home inspection as inspectors need to provide a complete report of everything in the home and how its currently working. Are the mechanical and electrical systems up to safety standards? Are the appliances functioning properly? Identifying and testing all of the different systems and elements of a home can take time. In some cases, inspectors will even crawl under homes and up into attics to make sure they have done a thorough inspection.
What You Need to Know About Home Inspections
A home inspection is a good way to learn about the condition of the home but think of it as a general examination. A detailed examination of the entire home that points out concerns like mold, asbestos, and pest are not always reported or checked by all home inspectors. Specialized evaluations are required when mold is present, and in other situations, additional specialists will be called in to handle pests or structural integrity concerns.
Extra Inspection Elements You Need to Ask For
When an inspector is going through the home, feel free to ask them questions about safety concerns. If you have small children, it helps to understand if there are some elements that need to be addressed prior to moving into the home. Inspections are designed to address some issues with the home, but an inspector is not the person to tell you if the home is a good deal or not. Their expertise and opinion about the home are beneficial as you determine if you are getting a fair price for the overall condition of the home and property.
What’s Included in an Inspection Report
The home inspection report is designed to provide extensive information about the home. The report will include checklists, photographs, summaries, and important notes. The information in the report gives approximate timeframes for the life expectancy of the HVAC system, appliances, and equipment. If you are buying a home in the winter months, you will need to assume that exterior elements may not be able to be examined as thoroughly as they can in the summer. Contact an inspector to find out if you can wait a few days for the snow to dissipate if that is a concern.
Reading an Inspection Report
While it’s great to walk through the home together and ask the inspector questions, this is not always a possibility. A good inspector will provide you with a report that is easy to understand, and clearly shows your concerns that you may need to address. A good inspector will be available to answer questions that can assist in helping you to read the report. Every home will have its imperfections, which is why it’s vital to work with someone that can help you see which imperfections are concerning and which ones add to the charm of the home.
A Home’s Report Card
Home inspections are a great way to ensure you are getting to know the history of the home and to understand what type of financial responsibility and maintenance is needed in the future. Reedy Set Go provides home inspection services throughout the Wasatch Front. Our licensed, insured and certified inspector, Jeff Reed, will provide you with detailed information you need to know when you are purchasing a home. Contact us today to schedule a home inspection, and make sure you’re happy with your home’s report card!