When should you have a Home Inspection?
When people think of having a home inspection, they typically associate it with buying a house. But that’s only a part of our business. Just as you take your car to the mechanic for regular oil changes, or go to the doctor when you’re sick, there are times when you need to know about the condition of your home, even if it’s not part of a purchase process.
Before putting your house on the market, it’s wise to get a home inspection to identify issues with the property that you may not have been aware of, but which can create a nasty surprise when your buyer’s inspector finds them. At that point, you could lose the sale, and will then have to disclose those defects anyway to any other potential buyer. Instead, find out what the condition is before listing the property. Then you and your agent can discuss how best to proceed; the easiest is to simply list the house “as is” and have a copy of the report available for any interested people to look at. Your agent can make it clear that the listing price has already taken all the issues in the report into account, so there’s less chance of having to negotiate based on what the buyer’s inspector reports.
Just like your annual checkup with the doctor, or your pet’s Rabies vaccination, houses need regular checkups too. If you’ve been in your home for 7-10 years, there are systems and components that may need either servicing or replacement. There could also be safety equipment that wasn’t required when the house was built, but could be upgraded to prevent injury or damage. Maybe building standards have changed, or you’ve noticed that there are some new cracks in a wall. A home checkup inspection can tell you what needs attention now, and what to plan for in the near future.
Even brand-new houses can have problems. Sure, you will do a walk-through with the builder, but you probably don’t have any idea what the trouble signs are when you’re looking at the forest of wall framing, and have to take their word for it as to the condition. Even builders who say they have their own inspector come through prior to closing don’t like to admit that those inspectors are focusing mostly on cosmetic issues, and not things like improperly installed furnaces, or plumbing connections with the wrong fittings.
If you’ve inherited the family homestead but haven’t lived there in several decades, you may not have an idea of its condition, or what systems are not working right, or are due for replacement. This is crucial information if you are unsure whether you will be keeping the home or putting it on the market. A home inspection gives you the unbiased view, presented without judgment, without overwhelming you when you are dealing with a loss. Also, this article has some excellent advice on how to prepare for inheriting a house, and what to do when the time comes.