Boston area home inspection tips like the ones found in this article could save you a ton of money. A home inspection is but one of the many expenses a homebuyer will face during the home shopping process. None is more critical – and potentially satisfying – than a home inspection. Experts say on a dollar for dollar comparison, a home inspection represents the wisest investment you can make regarding the home you’re considering purchasing. A thorough home inspection will examine and summarize your home’s good points and bad, giving you necessary insight to know how to proceed with the sales transaction.
Let’s take a look at Five Boston area Home Inspection Tips worth considering.
Choose the right type of inspection
Once you meet with your real estate agent to submit an offer to buy the home you like, your agent should cover the various types of inspections from which to choose. In addition to a standard home inspection there are others such as pest, radon and mold inspections.
Standard home inspections can be categorized into two different types: The home inspection and the general inspection. While it may sound like nothing more than semantics, there are differences in the two – primarily in the manner in which the information reported by the inspection is utilized. A typical home inspection is the more popular option. In that report, the home seller will receive a notice from the prospective purchaser outlining certain specific items that need to be repaired prior to the closing of the sale. In addition, the notice will ask the seller to consider paying for the repairs by way of a credit toward the closing costs of the transaction.
Second on our list of five Boston area home inspection tips includes getting a general inspection, which is solely for informational purposes. It stops short of requesting that inspected issues be corrected or repaired – but it does provide the prospective homebuyer the option to refuse to close the sale based on the inspection’s findings.
Choose a qualified inspector
In scheduling, conducting and following up with a home inspection it’s important that each participant in the process is experienced and highly qualified. The potential purchase of the home you’re interested in represents one of the largest financial investments you’ll ever make – and it’s important that you and the people you surround yourself with treat it as such. Select a home inspection expert that is currently licensed by, and is a member of, a well-known trade association such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI.) In addition, have the home inspector share a copy of the sample inspection report. Of course, you will ultimately obtain the entire report and its findings, but seeing a blank report ahead of time will give you a clearer picture of what to expect and how you can use the information in a potential negotiation with the home seller. In the end, the home inspector will give you a detailed list of the home’s components and their overall condition. Home inspectors recommend taking notes during the inspection recap – especially if you have questions regarding the use and maintenance of items such as home systems and appliances you’re not fully familiar with.
Where’s the owner’s manual?
Funny thing about homes – they rarely come equipped with an owner’s manual. Among our Boston area home inspection tips is the advice of many experts which recommends you accompany the home inspector while he’s conducting the inspection. He will be able to provide a good deal of information on how certain systems in the home operate. This will be invaluable at a later date should you decide to purchase the home.
Use the report for the purpose intended
Among our Boston area home inspection tips, when your home inspection professional has examined the home and has issued his findings in the report, review it closely. Ask questions as needed. Don’t be bashful and don’t be afraid of asking the proverbial “stupid” questions – there are none when you’re making a purchase of this size. Keep in mind that the home inspector’s role is that of a “generalist” to some degree, and less of a specialist regarding certain areas or findings. As an example, if the inspector finds possible evidence of a mold issue, he will likely recommend that you contact a company specializing in mold remediation to solve the problem.
While negotiations with the seller vary widely according to the results of a home inspection, there are normal guidelines and protocol that are usually followed. Major issues such as plumbing, electrical or HVAC systems should be addressed first and most importantly. Experts say to devote the bulk of your attention and negotiation efforts to these issues and don’t worry about the smaller items. If there are no major items that need attention, then you can tackle the smaller items with the seller as part of your final negotiation.
Lastly among our Boston area home inspection tips, if you opt to perform any repair work yourself or oversee its completion and decide to seek a credit from the home seller at the closing of the transaction, consult your mortgage lender. You’ll want to ensure you are able to request the maximum amount of credits as per the guidelines – usually 3%-6%. Remember, if the amount is in excess of what is needed you won’t receive it, the seller gets to keep it.
It’s important to know that home inspectors – as experienced and trained as they are – don’t have x-ray vision that allows them to see through walls or under floors. So remember, as thorough as their inspection of the home may be, they can’t be expected to report on items they can’t visually inspect. In addition, remember that a home inspection will give you the condition in which the home is in as of the day of the inspection. While the old adage “Things change” usually applies to the everyday hustle and bustle of life, it also applies to the conditions of various home components, too.
You can find more articles pertaining to Boston area home inspections in the Boston Home Inspections section of our site below Boston Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.