Your Home Inspection
The home inspection is one of the most important stages of the home buying process.
It’s also a time when emotions and stress can become elevated. Your Thrive Advisor will guide you through the inspection process and give you the resources you’ll need to make good decisions, worry-free.
Have questions? Contact us.
What Is a Home Inspection?
An inspection involves having a professional, licensed property inspector review your future home from top to bottom. In the process, you’ll find out about any issues, challenges, needed repairs, or existing damage to the home. The inspection report gives you an open book on the house before you make the biggest purchase of your lifetime.
Choosing a Home Inspector
You are free to use whatever inspection company you wish. We will also give you some references of companies we use consistently.
Also, it is important to know that we do not get anything from the professionals we refer (no “kickbacks,” referral fees, etc.) — except the confidence that they’ve done a great job for our clients in the past.
What You Need to Know About Your Home Inspection
Here are a few key points to know about the inspection process:
- No property is perfect, and all properties have issues. This is very important to know, and there are no exceptions. Even new build homes have issues. Most issues are minor, and some are major. We will sort through the issues together based on your home inspection report.
- The inspection report will likely be 100+ pages. We like to make our clients aware of this upfront because it can be intimidating. The report will cite detailed descriptions of ALL issues (big and small), with close-up pictures, which can make the house look like it’s in awful shape. After reviewing the report, many people feel like they’ve gone under contract on a house that is about to fall down! But in reality, most issues are minor and can be taken care of by the buyer, the seller, or a little bit of effort from both with minimal out-of-pocket expense.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s usually best to focus primarily on big issues that are costly to fix. In other words, don’t “trip over dollars to pick up pennies.” The inspection report is NOT meant to be a list of items that you ask the seller to correct. It is meant to be the process of proper due diligence. With the report you can:
- Discover any bigger issues that need to be addressed.
- Have appropriate expectations regarding what it will take to maintain the home.
- Use the report as a punch list of things to work on in the future to maintain and improve the home.
- Understand discovery vs. diagnosis. Inspectors are NOT specialists. They are not electricians, plumbers, engineers, roofers, etc. The inspector’s main job is to discover issues, not diagnose them. In other words, if they discover something questionable, a full diagnosis might need further investigation by a licensed professional in that area. This may be an additional cost to you if it is required. As a result, the inspection might occur in several stages, over several days.
- Inspectors are human, too.The inspectors we work with on a regular basis are great. They’re very specific. They uncover issues that ARE a problem and those that could BECOME a problem. Nonetheless, inspectors can miss things. No inspector catches 100% of everything — that’s just the nature of property inspections. (Similarly, if you took your car to three different mechanics, you’d probably get three different opinions.)
- Know what you can ask sellers to do.You as the buyer are free to ask for whatever you feel is needed, but through the years, we have noticed that in general, we have success negotiating two main categories on the inspection:
- Health and safety issues: Items that could potentially present a health or safety risk — for example, high levels of radon. Most sellers are willing to make repairs or grant a concession to correct health and safety issues.
- Functional and condition issues: Items that are not functioning properly or have a very poor condition that we didn’t know about when we went under contract. So, if the inspector discovers that the dishwasher leaks, that would be a good example of a “functional issue” that we didn’t know about. But if we can readily see that the windows are single pane and very old, and we negotiated the price with that in mind, we need to go into the inspection knowing that we’re buying a home with windows that probably need to be replaced. If the inspector reports that the windows need to be replaced (which he/she will), we have to be OK with it without trying to negotiate further with the seller about the windows.
Which Home Inspections Should I Have Done?
Your Thrive Advisor will guide you on what inspections are advisable based on the age, condition, type and location of home you are buying.
Primary Home Inspections
The primary inspections we recommend upfront include:
- General house inspection (usually $700, based on size and age of property)
- Sewer scope (usually about $200)
- Radon test (usually $115)
You’re free to order as many or as few of the secondary inspections as you like. Most clients don’t do them all, and that is understandable. Ultimately the choice is yours: You can do none of them, all of them, or some of them.
It’s usually best to wait to see the results of the general inspection to decide whether or not these secondary inspections are necessary:
- Roof certification (usually about $200)
- Furnace certification (usually about $200)
- Lead-based paint test (usually about $750)
- Mold test (usually about $700)
- Asbestos test (usually about $300)
- Termite inspection (usually about $200)
To get started with the home inspection process, please fill out the form below. It will only take about 4-5 minutes.