Figure out your needs
Monthly cost of owning a home
Financing Your Purchase
The FHA Mortgage
The Conventional Mortgage
The Adjustable Rate Mortgage
Department Of Veterans Affairs Mortgage
Pre-Qualified vs Pre-Approval
Phase 2: Looking
Looking at homes
Types of homes
Single Family Homes
Types of sellers
Researching A Home's Public Information
When purchasing a home it is always recommended to perform a variety of inspections to satisfy the buyer. The buyer can opt to perform a range of inspections to make sure that you are well informed about what you are buying based on the condition of the home. You can perform as many or as few inspections as you want. I have had buyers bring their construction buddy over to the home to take a look, or their handy father (or mother). But the most common method is for a buyer to hire a home inspector. These inspectors will go through the majority of the house, looking for defects. Their purpose is to find defects, and believe me, they will! They will generate a report detailing what they find. This report is usually many pages long, some reaching 20 pages or more. They usually know more than a handy uncle because they inspect hundreds of houses every year.
The main reason for an inspection though is to make sure there is a balance with how much you are offering on the home, and what you are getting. It is to know the home's defects are accounted for within the pricing of the home itself. So there a dozen of items to fix that total $300, that may be just fine and you may expect that. But if the inspection turns up a $6000 sewer line problem, you may have expected a properly working sewer line in the price you are paying for the house. This gives us the opportunity to renegotiate the price, or ask for repairs, so that the expectations of the house match the price you are paying for the house.
Besides the general inspection, you can also perform specialized inspections. I recommend also doing a sewer line inspection, a radon inspection, and a fireplace chimney inspection. Other types of inspections include structural, or environmental hazard (radon, lead, arsenic, etc.) electric or plumbing (as separate from the general inspection), and several other types of inspections.
It is a good idea to chat with a few potential inspectors before making an offer on a home regarding items such as:
- Availability / timeframe
- Familiarity with area and style of home
- Newer or older homes
Some of them may be willing to provide a sample report to you. Or you can take a look at this sample report.
When it comes down to the inspection timeframe, most are available to schedule an appoitment within 2 or 3 days of the request. They usually will take between 2 and 3 hours or so. You don't need to be there the whole time, and many will ask you to be there for the last hour or 1.5 hours.
That's the basics of inspections.
Results of inspections
Once you have the results of an inspection what do you do with it? I've addressed that in this post called How to resolve inspection issues.