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Real estate is not a cheap investment. So, whenever you are getting ready to shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars in order to buy a property, it is important that you know what you are getting into.
Home inspectors play a vital role in the buying process. Their keen eyes and insight into the condition of various properties can act as a guide for you to protect yourself and your funds from the horrors of investing in a house that is falling apart at the seams.
So, if you want to protect your investment portfolio from the expensive hassle of buying a property in worse condition than you planned, you need to learn how to find a skilled home inspector.
Before we dive in, did you know that when you are buying a commercial property or getting commercial financing, some lenders will only accept reports from certain home inspectors and appraisers. Make sure you are always using the right professionals by clicking the link below for a free strategy call today.
What is the Role of a Home Inspector?
The home inspector is the final set of eyes that can help protect a buyer from buying a property that is too much work to manage. Their job is to conduct a thorough inspection of the property in order to provide accurate insight into the condition of the property.
This can include a pass around the exterior of the home. This may include inspecting the home’s foundation, external structure, roof, and utility hookups. As well, under certain conditions they may also check the soil for signs of contamination when the property is located in an area of concern or inspect the shoreline for erosion if the property is by the water. However, these are specialty circumstances that may not apply to all properties.
Inside of the property, the inspector is going to be looking at things such as the plumbing, signs of basement flooding, insulation, the electrical wiring and the condition of the walls, floors, and ceilings. However, they will only inspect the visible aspects, so you do not have to worry that they may tear apart the property to check behind walls. However, that does mean they can miss things that may not be visible.
Finding a Home Inspector
When it comes to finding a home inspector, you want to be certain that you are getting the best one available. So, you need to know where to look.
While shopping for a home inspector, your realtor may try to refer you to an inspector they work with frequently. Normally, this is a great option that can help you find one very quickly. However, you should still take the time to check their reviews to ensure that their reputation is strong.
If your realtor does not have an inspector they can refer you to, or if you do not like the option you are presented with, ask your friends and family who have recently purchased a property and ask them about their inspector. Double check that the inspectors they used did not miss anything on the properties, or more importantly, if they actually managed to find a problem.
While it may sound odd, finding an inspector who has a reputation for finding problems is better than one who is known for finding nothing wrong and being right about it. If an inspector looks over a property and finds nothing, they may have just been lucky to inspect an intact property, however by finding issues, an inspector proves they know where to look and will do an adequate job.
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Should the Buyer (and Seller) Be Present For the Inspection?
While not necessary, it can be beneficial for the buyer to be present for the inspection so they can ask questions and receive explanations for certain things that may come up on the inspection report.
Likewise, the seller being present may be helpful if they are willing to direct the inspector towards key problems but may actually take away from the inspection if they end up trying to hide things. So, it is important to proceed with caution.
What Can You Do If The Inspector Finds a Problem?
Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will provide a report detailing the areas of concern and what they suspect the underlying problems to be. So, what are you supposed to do once you receive the report?
If the report comes back and there are significant areas of the concern on the property and you have an inspection contingency in your purchase agreement, it is time to start renegotiating the deal. By factoring in the work that the property will need to be ready, you may be able to knock money off of the purchase price of the property.
Begin Planning for Renovations
Once you are aware of problems with the property, you have time to begin planning for the future. This means assessing what work will need to be done, estimating costs so you can budget for the repairs, and going over potential contractors to work on the project.
Find Another Property
If the concerns with the property are too much to manage – or the seller will not budge on the price – and you have an inspection contingency in your purchase agreement, you are free to use this as an opportunity to back out of the sale in favour of a property that is in better condition. There is no shame in finding a new opportunity if you are not prepared for a fixer upper.
How Your Home Inspection Can Impact Your Mortgage
Finally, it is important to remember that the result of your home inspection can impact your mortgage.
Not only can lenders require you to have a home inspection done on the property, but if the inspection does not come back the way they would like, they may refuse to lend on the property. This is due to the increased sense of risk associated with these properties. This can potentially be a conflict if you are a flipper who is planning to buy a distressed property.
Fortunately for you, at LendCity we work with a variety of lenders so that you can find the one best suited for your goals. Whether you would like an inspection to protect yourself and your investments or need to forgo one in order to buy a potential flip.