Ensure your buying a Treasure Coast home that's in good condition by asking these before, during, and after the inspection.
Not all home inspectors are equal. As a matter of fact, there are a ton of terrible inspectors, and a few great professionals that do a wonderful job when their clients are buying a home and trusting them to spot out any potential problems. If you're wondering why this is important, read what a home inspection is and why you need it. The home inspection is one of the most critical steps of the Treasure Coast home buying process and it shouldn't be overlooked. It's during this time that a home buyer will find out anything that's out of working condition in the property, and be able to renegotiate with the seller.
What is your background?
Often times, home inspectors will have past careers in similar fields such as construction, general contracting, or other similar field. Find out what disciplines they are most comfortable with and make sure you have them spend as much time as possible giving you insight in that respect. If your home inspector was a licensed electrician in the past, get their feedback on how to fix any electrical issues, what companies have the best reputation with professionals, etc.
How long have you been a home inspector?
Inspectors with a lack of experience can cost home buyers a lot of money if they can't spot things out of working condition that are in plain sight. Keep in mind than many contractors aren't trained to spot certain things, especially those not in their wheelhouse, and that going with your Cousin Jim because he is "handy" could cost you thousands of dollars. If you're looking at Treasure Coast homes, and have questions about this, give us a call and we can clarify this.
What do you charge?
Typical home inspections should run between $300-500 and include a wind mitigation report and termite (WDO) inspection. This will vary based on the size of the home. You will also have to pay for an additional Four Point inspection if the home is 30 years or older (this is needed for insurance).
Do you have any references from past clients?
Go with someone that either (1) referred by your real estate agent, or (2) has a great reputation with local residents. Ask them for testimonials and call past clients as well.
What is out of working condition?
In your report from the inspection, there should be a summary that lists everything out of working condition. Most of it will be redundant (e.g. bushes close to the house, cracks in sidewalks), so you'll have to talk with your agent, your family, and possibly a contractor, to discuss (1) what needs repairing/replacing, (2) what that will cost, and (3) how you can negotiate to get some of the items fixed by the seller before you buy the property.
What needs to be looked at by a certified/licensed contractor?
Your home inspector can tell you when something is out of working condition, but a licensed contractor will often be the one to give you a repair estimate or a more accurate diagnosis. The inspector is highly trained to spot out issues that even a general contractor may not see, however they typically aren't going to be privy to the repair estimates unless they have experience in the field. Many individuals buying a home will have licensed contractors double check these issues.
Can you elaborate on _____?
After you get your home inspection report, don't be afraid to contact your inspector with any questions or advice on issues that arise. When you are buying a home on the Treasure Coast, it is typical for home buyers to negotiate for items out of working condition during the inspection period of a Purchase and Sale Contract, so you'll want to ensure you have all of the information when you share it with the other party.