Can you attempt your own home inspection? Sure you can. In fact, if you Google home inspection tips, you’ll no doubt find tons of articles listing what to look for and what to check.
But the question you should be asking yourself is not whether a DIY home inspection is possible. It should be, “Can I do as great a job as a professional would?” Because professional home inspection isn’t just a matter of flipping light switches and looking for wall cracks and paint chips.
If you fail to detect a major problem, you could end up paying more to fix it. The few bucks you saved from doing it yourself would most likely fail to cover the repair expenses, especially for things like a leaky roof or a shifting foundation.
To save yourself from future headaches, it’s best to hire a professional. But if you’re still not convinced, here are five more reasons to work with one before buying a home.
You see your dream home and it’s just love at first sight. Of course, you’re not going to be objective and see that house as it really is.
A professional home inspector, however, will not care whether you already see your kids having tons of fun in the entertainment room. He or she will take note of everything – good and bad – and make sure you’re aware of all the issues through the report provided to you after the inspection.
If your dream home turns out to not be perfect, that’s okay. No home is. And that’s a good thing because you can either find another house or use the uncovered “imperfections” to renegotiate the price.
2. Beyond The Obvious
A professional home inspection will obviously cover the basics like light switches, stove burners, wall cracks, and so on. But a quality home inspector will do much more. I’ve talked about this in a previous post, where I listed the top three things a quality home inspector checks.
First is the roof. An inspector will not just look at the type and quality of the home’s roof, but will also check how it was installed. He or she will also look at the plumbing to check if there are penetrations, as well as their rubber membranes to see if these are a candidate for replacement.
Second is the foundation. If you hire a pro, he or she wouldn’t just look at cracks. What’s important in a professional home inspection is to see what type of cracks are present. “V” cracks, for example, are a telltale sign that there are issues with the foundation.
Last but not the least is the exterior siding. Now some types like the LP (Louisiana Pacific) tend to swell when they get wet. A good inspector can educate you on how to take care of this type of siding so it will last for years to come if it is not already damaged.
But I always make sure to let the buyer know if this isn’t the case, as replacing siding could get expensive.
3. Not Just for Buyers
If you plan to sell your home, consider getting a professional home inspection every few years or before you put it on the market. It’s basically the same as getting a tune-up for your car. Plus, if you do it this way, there will be no nasty surprises if the buyer’s inspector uncovers something major.
This is known as a maintenance inspection. A maintenance inspection is a is when a homeowner hires an inspector to review their existing property (that they don’t intend to sell) in order to highlight any defects that have developed overtime that the current occupant may not have noticed on their own if they are not knowledgeable on how to maintain a home /structure.
One of the reasons why a professional home inspection is worth every penny is it gives you options. If the home’s problems turn out to be too big to fix, you can just walk away from the deal (provided of course that the contract has an inspection contingency).
You can also ask the seller to fix the problems. Or you can renegotiate a better deal. Another option is to ask for a cash credit so you can solve the problems yourself.
If the property is bank-owned and the options mentioned above aren’t possible, getting a home inspection is still a good idea. Once you know the problems, you can get estimates and start planning for repairs when you own the property. Your inspection report can be your source of information for a “to-do list.”
5. No Buyer’s Remorse
Imagine if the home buying process was a lot like ordering something from Amazon. If you didn’t like your new home, you could just return or exchange it!
Obviously, that system’s not going to work for big purchases such as a new home or a car. Both are covered by notoriously strict laws and return policies are non-existent. This is why preparation and research are your best tools for avoiding buyer’s remorse.
With a professional home inspection, you can feel as confident as possible about your purchase. If you skip it or try to DIY only to discover major problems down the road, your only options are to either fix or sell. Both will cost you money and you can bet that the next buyer will be smarter and not offer you the same price you paid for your problematic house.
Don’t Skip a Professional Home Inspection
Saving money is good. But don’t skip a professional home inspection just because you feel you can do a better job or to save a few bucks.
Here, I’ve given you five reasons to consider why a home inspection is a crucial part of the home buying process. But really it all boils down to one thing. If you’re the type who reads reviews before buying a product or trying out a service, why wouldn’t you do the same for such a big purchase?
Consider a professional home inspection as your first and most important review of the home you’re thinking of buying. Get to know the property’s pros and cons and what you can do about them. And if you’re looking for a qualified home inspector in Portland, don’t hesitate to contact Octopus Home Inspections, LLC.
We won’t give you the cheapest or the most expensive rates. But I can promise you that we’ll give you the best education for your hard-earned money. You can check out what our customers are saying about us to get a better idea of how we conduct home inspections.