A home inspection is critical to the home-buying process, and most lenders require one before loan origination. Even if your lender doesn’t require an inspection or you are purchasing a new build, an inspection is a small investment that can save you time, money and peace of mind in the long run. In fact, homebuyers who participated in a recent study by Porch said they saved an average of $14,000 on the initial list price as a result of an inspection.

What’s included in a home inspection report
Although the requirements of a home inspection report vary widely by state and region, most include an assessment of the property’s major features, including the structure, roof, plumbing, heating, and electrical systems — things that affect your safety and comfort. More in-depth analysis such as foundation inspection and testing for lead paint or mold may require a specialist or an additional fee.

It is recommended you conduct an inspection after making an offer on the home, with a contingency based on the findings. With knowledge of deterioration or subpar conditions, you can decide whether to move forward with a purchase and ask for concessions from the seller to cover the cost of improvements. Undiscovered issues like backed-up plumbing or roof damage could lead to costly repairs later, so it is important to find a qualified, reliable home inspector who can provide a thorough and accurate report.

How to choose a home inspector
There are thousands of home inspectors nationwide, so how do you choose the right one? There are a few factors to consider — namely their credentials, consumer ratings, and sample reports.

Most states have licensing agencies that can verify if an inspector is up to date on training and continuing education, but that’s just the baseline. Look for an inspector with additional certifications through professional associations like the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), which provide further resources and have additional standards of practice for their members.

Check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints or red flags, and check consumer review websites like Angie’s List to see comments from other homebuyers on their experiences with a specific inspector. Also ask potential inspectors to provide a sample report, so you can compare the level of detail and explanation they provide.

What to expect during the inspection
Once you’ve hired a professional you can trust, schedule an inspection at a time when you can attend. The process typically takes about two to three hours, and you should accompany the inspector so you can ask questions and address any concerns. Ask the inspector to point out and explain issues they identify and take time to review their final written report. If there are recommended repairs, you may need to contact a general contractor or specialist for a price quote to help you make decisions on purchasing and negotiate the sales price.

In addition to a competent inspector, you’ll also need a reliable lender to help you realize your goal of homeownership. Open Mortgage is available and ready to assist. For more information, contact us today.

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