08 Apr Important Considerations Regarding Your Home Inspection
At Biller & Associates, we believe that education and information are an important part of our services. We will be posting regularly about issues of interest to our clients, and we hope you enjoy our insights. There are many options to choose from when it comes to home inspections in Northern Virginia, but not all inspectors provide the same services and quality. Before going with just any home inspector, here are some important considerations.
Don’t Settle for A Basic License
In 2017, Virginia moved from a voluntary to a mandatory licensing for home inspectors. The licensing process includes classes, exams and field work, but these requirements provide the minimum. Homeowners should look for more. An inspector should have a background that includes familiarity with residential codes and safety. Training and field experience in architecture, engineering or construction, preferably with generalized experience in residential building, will provide critical insights that classroom-learning and minimal basic apprenticeship don’t offer. Don’t be afraid to ask your home inspector about their background – be sure to check their website for a bio listing additional experience.
Speed is Not a Sign of a Good Inspection
The Pre-Purchase home inspection is generally the final walkthrough prior to closing. This means that the last chance to negotiate terms of the sale will be impacted by the findings of the inspector, and it is the buyer’s opportunity to prioritize decisions and make demands for repairs if appropriate. Far from a formality, the inspection can reveal issues that dramatically impact the purchase process. Contingencies, pricing and, ultimately, the sale, are in the balance. A thorough home inspection can have a major impact on these issues, and it should be done with the highest quality. An inspector who flies through the house may be less expensive, but ultimately more costly due to missed issues.
A quality home inspection shouldn’t be a rushed job. Some inspectors will deliver their report at the end of the inspection and disappear. Finding them for follow-up questions can prove to be a real challenge. A quality inspector will take time to compose the inspection report. They will include good notes and photographs so that any issues raised in the report are easy to identify. For example, a simple picture of a broken window sash might not clarify which window, in which room. These extra details improve the utility of the report for negotiations and clarity in the home buying process. When considering a home inspector, ask them about their process to be sure that you don’t get stuck with a quick and sloppy report.
Don’t Rely on the Warranty
As a back-up plan, a buyer can purchase a home warranty to help protect them from unexpected, covered repairs. However, it is not a good idea to rely too much on the warranty instead of a quality inspection. After all, the warranty only kicks in when a problem is discovered, which usually occurs after the buyer has moved into the house, making repairs an inconvenience. In addition, a warranty is a form of insurance, and that means the homeowner must haggle with the warranty company to make sure that the cost of repair or replacement is fully covered. This same issue could have been put onto the seller and resolved before it became a problem, but only if it was discovered in time by the home inspection. Selecting a quality home inspector who will deliver a thorough, detailed report matters even with a home warranty purchase.
Biller and Associates: Expert Home Inspection Services in Northern VA
At Biller & Associates, we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality home inspections in Northern VA. We treat every home inspection seriously and carefully, making sure our clients receive the information they need to make their home buying process a success.
If you want to know more about our home inspection services in Northern VA, please contact us at (571) 528-6817.