If you’re a homeowner, you can save yourself a lot of headache by knowing when to get a professional home inspection. Most people mistakenly think of a home inspection as something you only do when purchasing a home.
Unfortunately, I have seen numerous occasions where a home inspection would have been well worth it for the homeowner. Professional home inspectors find things that even the most observant and savvy homeowner may not notice.
Here is my take on key times to get your home professionally inspected:
1. Buying a home – even a new home
It goes without saying that you should get a home inspected when buying a resale or used home, but it’s just as important when buying new construction. Building a home is very complex, so even when working with a very reputable builder, issues can come up. I always recommend people get a home inspection on new construction and I have yet to see a perfectly clean inspection report. There is another huge benefit to having an inspection done at this time: you can take all the items found and give it to the builder as a punch-list for your final walkthrough.
As a side note, another thing buyers sometimes don’t realize is that they can have a real estate agent represent them on the purchase of new construction (so we can advise you on things like this).
2. Before your builder warranty is up on your new home
New construction typically comes with a builder’s warranty – a period of time during which the builder is responsible to repair any defects. If you didn’t do a home inspection before moving in, it would be a good idea to have one done before the end of this warranty period. There could be latent problems that don’t become obvious until after the warranty period.
3. After a major renovation
Similar to new construction, there may be things that got missed by the contractor on a major renovation. It’s best to know about these things right away so you can call the contractor back out to take care of them.
4. Pre-inspection before listing your home
The most important reason to do this is that there are likely problems with the home about which you’re not even aware. Being able to address the problems ahead of time increases the chances that everything goes smoothly with the buyer’s home inspection and that you make it to the closing table. You can also use the fact that you’ve had a pre-inspection as a selling point to prospective buyers.
5. Have owned for many years
It’s possible that problems have crept in over the years or that you’re on the verge of needing repairs. Plus, there may be updated safety standards since you purchased and a home inspector can point these out to you.
All of this boils down to the fact that it’s far better to know about a small problem or potential safety issue as soon as possible. Finding out the hard way can either mean a much larger repair bill or losing a sale when a major unknown item comes up on an inspection report. Don’t wait for a problem to occur – usually preventative maintenance is a lot less expensive.
In Flagstaff, you can find reputable home inspectors who will do a full inspection for a few hundred dollars (depends on the size of the house) and provide you with a very detailed report. This is money well spent. Having seen countless home inspections during my real estate career, I have never seen a home inspection come back with nothing wrong.
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