Home Inspection Checklist for Prospective Homebuyers

Home Inspection (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Buying a home is an exciting time, especially when you've found a home you've loved enough to put an offer on. However, it is important to make your contract contingent on a home inspection.

A home inspection essentially confirms that you are making a good investment as a buyer. Sometimes your dream home may only be a dream from the outside. When an inspector takes a closer look, they will be able to notice concerns that the naked eye may be unable to pick up, like moisture in the walls, missing rooftop insulation, or a sinking foundation.

In other words, spending a few hundred dollars on a good home inspector can save you thousands of dollars down the line.

Here's the step-by-step process you can follow to secure a home inspector, evaluate costs, and make your decision on going through with the purchase.

Step 1: Find Your Inspector

Finding a trusted home inspector will often come from a referral from your trusted real estate professional. Here at Real Group, we have a number of Chicagoland inspectors to whom we refer our clients (and, as always, don't hesitate to send us an email with any questions).

When selecting an inspector on your own, however, it isn't a bad idea to shop around or do your due diligence. In fact, this is best done before you even find a home as you will be under a time crunch to select one after you've put an offer on a home.

How do you find a good inspector? Here are some helpful tips that frontdoor.com suggests:

  • Look up references on the American Society of Home Inspectors website (http://www.ashi.org)
  • Do your research and ask questions of your inspectors, asking for their backgrounds, length in business, and what kind of report they'll provide you
  • Look for an inspector with a wide knowledge of home systems and structures, rather than an inspector who is purely a plumber or electrician
  • Make sure your inspector carries errors and omissions insurance
  • Compare your findings and select an inspector

Step 2: Gather Home Information

It is good to have a working knowledge of the basic information of your prospective home, such as square footage, the year the house was built, the number and type of heating systems it has, and any other information that could aid your home inspection process.

When the inspector comes, take notes on what the inspector says (even if the inspector is promised to give you a detailed report).

Step 3: Evaluate Damage

One you've got an understanding of the work that needs to be done on a place, make contact with a contractor or exterminator to evaluate the the potential cost and length of repairs.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Contract

Armed with this new knowledge, now is the time that you decide whether or not you still want the place. If you do, consult with your real estate agent and determine if the seller should be asked for remedies.

Step 5: Re-inspection

If any repairs occur, make sure you hedge your bets and get another inspection after the problem has been fixed.

Questions? Need a referral to a home inspector? We'd love to help you. Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.

Real Group Real Estate

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