Potential homeowners and investors alike shouldn’t underestimate the importance of inspecting a property before buying. In fact, some prefer to have inspections performed semi-regularly to ensure there are no unexpected problems with their existing properties.

Real estate is generally a large purchase and taking the inspection seriously is the easiest way to anticipate future problems and find out if an investment is worth the effort.

Identifying Major Issues

The average person will walk through a property and notice dated flooring, chips in the paint, and other cosmetic issues. Without formal training, you probably won’t be able to identify the major problems that could cost thousands down the line.

Even a property that was recently occupied could have issues below the surface. The inspection will reveal problems, such as:

  • Radon
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Mold
  • Illegal installations or additions
  • Outdated or damaged systems
  • Structural issues

It’s much easier to find out immediately that the heating system only has 2 good years left, or that there is evidence of termite damage.  

Any issues in the inspection report can be valuable tools for negotiation. The buyer can either ask for certain repairs to be made before the closing date, or request a price reduction. Beyond negotiation, the inspection can also determine deal breakers and provide an out if the findings make a buyer uncomfortable.

Some properties look decent to the untrained eye, but would actually need costly repairs to be safe and livable in the long term.

Choose Your Inspector Wisely

It is encouraged that you shop around for the best home inspector. This doesn’t mean you’re looking for the best price. It means you’re analyzing their credentials and expertise to ensure your property is in good hands. For example, if an inspector primarily works with single family homes, they may not be the best choice to inspect a highrise building.

It’s widely recommended that people choose an inspector who is certified by ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). Most real estate professionals have a trusted inspector they recommend, so there’s no harm in asking around for suggestions.

Inspection Day

If you’re the one investing in the property, you should be present at the inspection. Not only does it give you a chance to thoroughly inspect the property yourself, but you can also use the opportunity to gain clarification on any problems found by the inspector. It is much easier to talk face-to-face than simply decipher their final report on your own. Being an active participant in your home inspection is the best way to protect your investment.