When buying a used car, one of the best things you can do before purchasing it is to have a 3rd party mechanic perform a thorough inspection. Nobody wants to end up with the headaches and frustrations of a “lemon”.
As many “lemon” cars are out there, there are “lemon” homes out there too. One of the most important tenets of caveat emptor (buyer beware) is to have an expert on your side and in real estate, that expert would be a home inspector.
Not any home inspector will do however– you need a superstar home inspector.
What makes a superstar home inspector?
Make sure that the inspector you select is a full time inspector that performs at least 250 inspections a year. Your inspector should also have a professional background beyond just inspecting homes. Some of the best inspectors have previous training as general contractors, engineers or in architecture. This additional knowledge and continuing education on the various systems of a home is what contributes to them being a home inspection superstar. Ask them what they actively do to keep up to date with their industry. Certifications (ex California Real Estate Inspection Association) will require the inspector to take ongoing courses to hone their skills so they are in the forefront of their industry.
How to find a superstar home inspector?
The best way to find a great home inspector is to ask your real estate agent which inspector their clients have had the best experience with. Personally call the inspector and start asking some of the questions listed in this article. Communication is equally important as a good inspection. They must have the ability to explain their report in layman’s terms so you understand what requires immediate action and what may not. There may be issues that sound like deal breakers which can easily be repaired or negotiated to have the seller repair. There is a misconception by buyers that there is a pass or fail on an inspection. In actuality, the inspector’s job is to convey their findings– not to give a recommendation on whether to make the purchase. Rarely are there items that can’t be remedied by requesting repairs. The most important factor is that you have excellent representation that can negotiate the requests for repairs that are required to make you comfortable about your home purchase. The price you pay for a home usually dictates the amount of negotiating you can do to bring your home to showroom condition. If you pay fair market value for a home, you can expect the seller to be more cooperative than a bank owned foreclosure that is priced to be sold as is.
When should you hire a superstar inspector?
The answer is on any real estate purchase you make. Regardless of the age of the home or if the home is new construction, you should always get a home inspection. One of the first steps of the escrow process is to get the inspector out there as soon as possible. The bottom line is that the home inspection is the smallest monetary investments you will make in ensuring you have peace of mind in the quality of your home. In addition to finding what problems the home may have, you will also find out the positive aspects as well. A great inspector will educate you in how to properly use your home. They will show you how to shut off your water, how your electrical panel works, where your meters are located, and preventative measures you can make to keep your new investment in tip top condition.