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Home Inspection Tips for the First-Time Buyer

Buying a home is a huge step for many people, and buying your first house can be extremely daunting. In order to overcome the challenges of buying your first home successfully, one of the things which you should learn about is home inspection. No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are when it comes to buying homes, each property needs to be inspected properly. You’ll be spending a huge amount of money on the property, so it’s important that you carry out all the necessary checks.

  1. Inspect the home yourself

Don’t rush into hiring a professional home inspector straight away, since there are things that you can check out within the home. Look for any leaks or damp in the roof, since these are common problems within homes. Check out the paint work around the house, and look at the window frames around the building. Electrical problems such as exposed wiring or broken lights should be noted, and any noise from the plumbing systems which you think sound unusual should be jotted down too. If the home has a basement, look around for any signs of water damage which might have occurred, even if it was a long time ago. During this personal inspection of the house, you can bring along a spouse, friend or parent to help you out.

Take this opportunity to ask the sellers to share any information that they have with you about problems around the house. It’s in their best interests to share it with you, since the next step is to get a professional to look at the home, and he will discover any issues which you missed.

  1. Get a professional inspector

If you didn’t find any problems when you inspected the home, the next step is to hire a property inspector who will be able to carry out a more thorough investigation of the house. Inspections can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000, so make sure that you’re quite serious about buying the house before investing in the inspection.

Before hiring anybody, you need to discover what certifications and licenses he has, since it’s important to make sure that whoever you hire is registered to work as an inspector. Ask about the type of report that you will receive after the inspection - you should receive a full and detailed report. Ask about his experience and also how long the inspection is likely to take. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a short inspection is a good one - it should take around 2-4 hours, depending on the size of the property.

  1. Attend the inspection

You shouldn’t think that it’s better to just leave the inspector to do his job alone. Most people will attend the home inspections which are carried out in the properties that they are considering purchasing, since it gives you a chance to ask any questions and make notes about anything which you think is important. The inspector should be more than happy for you to be there during the inspection, and should do everything possible to accommodate you and your family.

Inspectors will look at everything that you checked out during the personal inspection, but will also check the flooring, the attic and heating and cooling sytems.

  1. Carry out additional tests

The inspector may tell you that the house would benefit from having additional testing, such as for pests or mould. You will usually be told this if the inspector has a reason to believe that these things may be present, although some will recommend it merely as a safety precaution. The inspector will not be able to test for these things during the regular home inspection, so don’t worry if he suggests that you hire somebody else for further investigation of the property.

Speak to the owners of the house about possible problems which may happen in the house or in the neighbourhood. For example, if you’re moving into a neighbourhood where flooding is prone to happen, there may be mould in the property which was caused as a result of water damage. It’s better to pay some extra money to get the additional tests carried out rather than buy a property which ends up having terrible issues which need to be fixed later on.


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