Should You Attend Your Home Inspection?
Think you don't have time to attend your home inspection?
Think again. New buyers should always set aside time to attend their inspections. Touring your new house with a licensed home inspector gives you the perfect opportunity to learn how your new residence works, and where such important features as the water shutoff valve are located.
Home inspections generally cost $350 to $500. That's money well spent. And these days, most homebuyers spend that money without a second thought. But wise buyers will also reserve three to four hours to accompany their inspectors as they tour their homes.
Not only do inspectors alert buyers to potential problems, they also offer them an opportunity to find out about the nuts and bolts of their new home. Buyers can discover the location of their furnace's air filters, they can find that water shutoff valve hidden in the darkest corner of the basement and they can learn how to best maintain their home's style of gutter. It's especially important for first-time buyers to attend their inspections. After all, first-time buyers generally have a lot to learn about maintaining a home. Most first-timers may not even understand the basics, such as the importance of regularly changing their furnace's air filters. But such knowledge, which good home inspectors pass on, can save a homeowner untold thousands of dollars in repair bills.
For years, home inspectors have preached about the importance of inspections. This has paid off, as most buyers today routinely order them. A February study conducted by the National Association of Realtors and the American Society of Home Inspectors said that 77 percent of recent homebuyers ordered an inspection before completing their purchase.
Of this number, though, 21 percent opted not to attend the inspection. For this reason, inspectors are now stressing to buyers just how important it is to not only order an inspection but to attend it, as well.
Once buyers make the right decision to attend an inspection, they should then take advantage of the opportunity to ask their inspectors the right questions.
Buyers should prepare a list of all the questions they have regarding their new homes and bring this list to their inspection. Some of the things home inspectors recommend asking about include two biggies: the location of the home's water shutoff valve and how to shut off the house's electricity. Not knowing either of these can cause big problems down the road.
Inspectors also recommend that buyers ask how to change their furnace's air filters and how to check the home's sump pump.
By attending their inspections, buyers can also learn how to search for potential future problems. For example, if a buyer watches an inspector search for insect damage in a home's basement, that buyer then learns what signs of trouble to look for in the future. If she one day stumbles across these signs, she'll know that she has a problem she needs to resolve.