It’s been an active year for home sales in the Chattanooga area, and if you’re celebrating an accepted offer on your dream home, then the reality of the home-buying process has probably just set in.
And you consider the long list of items to complete before closing day, scheduling a home inspection should be at the top of your to-do list.
Although not required by law, many lenders do require a home inspection, which helps protect the large investment you are about to make. You’ll want to learn as much as you can about the physical condition of the home before you buy it to ensure it’s a sound investment. And while an inspection cannot guarantee the condition of a home, the inspector can alert you to items that need repair or any safety concerns.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about the home inspection process.
Schedule the inspection quickly: It’s the buyer’s responsibility to schedule and pay for the inspection. You should schedule the home inspection as soon as you can after your offer has been accepted. This ensures you’ll have enough time to requests repairs or to get out of the contract if the inspector discovers a deal-breaker for you.
When choosing an inspector, your Realtor may have a recommendation, or you can find one through the American Society of Home Inspectors (www.homeinspector.org)
An inspection describes the basic physical condition of a home: An inspector’s job is examine the current condition of a house. This includes pointing out what components and systems may need major repair or replacement. The inspector will examine the home’s exterior, including steps, porches, decks, chimneys, roof, windows and doors. Inspectors also look inside the home to examine the attic, the electrical components, the plumbing, the heating, the air conditioning, the basement or crawlspaces, and the garage. A home inspection will not include cosmetic issues that do not impact the working condition of the home.
Buyers should be present for the inspection: As the buyer, it’s important for you to be at the home for the inspection. Ask the inspector if you can follow him around to better understand what he’s examining and to ask questions if needed. This is a great way for you to get to know your new home and become familiar with areas that might need attention.
After the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a report. You can then determine if you will ask the seller to make any repairs or give you a credit to make the repairs on your own. It’s important to keep in mind that no home is perfect. But the inspection report should help you determine if it’s the perfect home for you.
To learn more about the home inspections in the Chattanooga area, contact Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at (423) 624-9992 or www.hbagc.net.