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  • Writer's pictureSang Han

Chapter 9. What To Expect When You're Inspecting (How to Pick the Right Home Inspector)

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

Before I start with this blog, I'm going to give you a very brief overview of Home Inspection, which may be unfamiliar to first-time buyers in the United States.

Home Inspection

It's literally inspecting the house. When both the buyer and the seller sign the house-selling agreement, the buyer will be given a 5-day Attorney Review in Illinois. It is a period for attorneys from both sides to coordinate and revise the parts to be modified in the signed contract. During that period, the buyer may meticulously inspect the house to be purchased and request the seller to repair, credit for repair, or reduce the agreed house price for additional problems or breakdowns as part of the contract.

General Home Inspection examines the exterior of the house, the roof, the foundation work, electricity, water and sewage, doors, windows, problems in the construction of the house, internal walls, insulation, fireplaces, kitchen appliances, washing machines and dryers, and air conditioning and heating systems. Depending on the region, the type of loan you use when purchasing, or the characteristics of your home, additional tests such as radon gas inspection, well system inspection, septic tank inspection, and termite inspection may be performed.

Inspection is conducted by a licensed Home Inspector. The inspection time (depending on the size of the house) takes about 2-3 hours on average, and an Inspection Report is issued within 48 hours after the inspection is finished.

Why inspection is important?

As I said before, the average American lives 7 to 8 years in one home. In other words, it's rare to buy a house more than 10 times in your own name. So, of course, most of you don’t know about the hardware part of the house and the local government's building requirements that change frequently. In addition, because homes are often to have unseen problems, it is very difficult for ordinary real estate buyers to find these problems.

The problem is that repairing those problems can cost a lot of money. However, if you find those problems through an inspection before finalizing the contract, you can have the seller either repair those problems or credit the estimated cost for repair. In my experience, it's very common for parts found through inspection to cost more than $30,000. That's why the buyer invests around $400 to $500 in an inspection.

If you've read this far, do you think that a competent inspector is really important, right? Then how to find a good inspector?

In general, you can get recommendations by the realtor you work with. I recommend that even if you receive a recommendation, you must be recommended for at least 3 inspectors or inspection companies. And thoroughly check by using the following methods before hiring one.

1. Preliminary check

-Check how long the candidate has been working as an inspector, have a license, and have insurance.

-View reviews of previous customers.

2. Compare existing reports

-Ask the inspectors to provide the report of the house with the most problems and the report of the house with the least problems in recent work.

-When reading these reports, check which parts of the house the inspector carefully checks and which parts does not.

-Check whether the tone of the inspection report is clear, easy to understand, etc.

A good report clearly points out the problem, tells you the extent to which it is likely to be a problem if it is not a clear problem, and explains how to do maintenance in an easy-to-understand way.

3. Phone interview.

-See how professional they are, how proud they are in your business, and how much they value customers.

Some people see inspection as just a meaningless house purchase process and omit it, but this is a really necessary process. In most cases, you can save more money than the inspection cost. Again, buying a house is the biggest investment in life. Therefore, I recommend that you take a closer look with an inspection to avoid any regretful investment.

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