Buying a home is a truly exciting time, but there’s a lot to consider, especially if it’s your first home. When so much investment is on the line, many homebuyers want to be sure they are making the right choice. Home inspections can be the first step to feeling secure in your home purchase choice. However, there are two sides to every home inspection; the buyer and the seller. Although those sides work in tandem for most purchases, first time buyers and sellers should expect different experiences when completing their first home inspection.
For first time homebuyers, home inspections can be a safety net, giving you a look into the future of your potential new home. Rick Erickson, owner of HomePro Home Inspections in Rochester, has been inspecting homes since 2004. He has worked with countless first time homebuyers to make sure they feel comfortable moving forward with a purchase.
The one to two hour process of walking through the home with the inspector could make or break your decision to invest in the home. Listen and learn as much as possible from the home inspector. “We want to educate you, as a first time home buyer,” says Erickson. “When we do a home inspection we’re looking for safety, health, and money pits. Every house is going to have issues, but we’re looking for the big stuff.”
Inspectors will check everything from electrical outlets to old water leak stains, the shingles on the roof to the cracks in the basement floor. “Our job is to observe, document, and then present to the clients. We want to make sure you’re happy with what you’re buying, or selling.” As a homebuyer, consider an inspection before your final purchase agreement is made. There may be problems you want the current homeowners to fix before you move in, or you may want to adjust your offer with the knowledge of how much money it will take to make the updates recommended by the inspector.
Home inspectors definitely know their stuff. Most go through some kind of formal education to acquire basic knowledge, potentially a test for certification through a state-approved licensure program, and finally, training under an experienced home inspector before they’re ever allowed to look at a home by themselves.
Although home inspections are not required by law, they are very important in the homebuying experience. For first time home sellers, the idea of a home inspection might be daunting. From pointing out flaws in your sidewalk to noticing a crack in the drywall, home inspectors are incredibly thorough. “If you’re getting ready to sell your house, what we’re doing is trying to help you. I’m going to do the inspection, I’m probably going to be a little pickier but my job is to help that person sell their home by showing everything up front and now they have the control to fix it on their terms and conditions,” Erickson says. “If you’ve got all those repairs taken care of at the end of the day, then you don’t have that big laundry list of things they need to negotiate.”
Often the home inspector will assist the seller by recommending approved vendors. If the seller makes improvements before listing the house, it will usually be worth more to a buyer. “Some people aren’t bothered by a large amount of work and other people get overwhelmed by it,” explains Erickson. “Everyone’s different on what they’re willing to accept or be comfortable with when looking for a home.”
When all is said and done, home inspections are key to gaining knowledge of a property before buying or selling. You’ll have reliability and security ask you make a major life decision.