Getting the Most Value Out of Your Home Inspection

Home Inspection (photo credit Justin Baeder via flickr)Illinois law requires that professional and licensed home inspectors successfully complete 60 hours of pre-license education and pass the Illinois Home Inspector License Exam. The law does not require a home inspection be performed when a house changes hands, but many financial institutions require the step before the buyer can obtain financing.

As you might expect, I find there is a lot of value in getting a home inspection, but I believe that value is far enhanced by adding the infrared component. This is why all of the inspections I do are infrared home inspections. A standard home inspection can tell you a lot, but the infrared is really where the value of your money is – that and following these tips to get the most out of your home inspection (even if you are the seller of the home, rather than the buyer).

Be at the Inspection

Lots of buyers let their real estate agent handle the home inspection process, but your real estate agent isn’t going to live in the home – you are. Most real estate agents really care about making sure the home changes ownership and they do not have a vested interest in stopping that process. I recommend that my clients be there at the home inspection. This is true for:

Don’t worry, it’s not scary and you won’t have to do anything at all if you don’t want to. If I discover something, however, I’ll be there to answer your questions and help you understand the real condition of your home. Plus, you really should know as much about the home as you can before you buy it, right?

Make a List of Problems and Questions

During the home inspection, you may notice things you didn’t when you toured the home before. Small things like broken door handles, or toilets that don’t quite flush right. These are little things, sure, but they can become nagging problems when you live with them day in and day out. You may also discover questions that you want to bring up with your real estate agent. So bring some paper and pen, or your smartphone and thumbs, and let’s make sure you feel really good about spending the kind of money you’re about to when you buy or sell your home.

Understand the Difference Between the Appraisal and the Inspection

It is important – especially if this is your first home purchase – to understand the difference between the appraisal and the inspection. A home appraisal tells everyone how much the home is worth right now given the current condition of the housing market. The home inspection gives you a true assessment of the condition of the home, and helps you make the decision about whether you want to buy it at any price or not. Sometimes a low appraisal can sink the loan approval, and a disastrous home inspection can cause buyers to rethink their purchase offer. Essentially, the two go hand in hand but they each have a very different role in the house purchase process.

Andrew MacDonald has been performing infrared home inspections in Elgin, Algonquin, St. Charles, and surrounding towns for over a decade. He crawls through attics, wanders in basements, and gets to the heart of the condition of your home. If you want to know – really want to know, request a return call today and he’ll tell you how he can help.

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