Wonderful, you just wrote a contract on your new home and now have an inspection period to discover everything you can about the condition of the home. Where do you start?

  1. Hire a licensed home inspector. Usually the inspector will create a 40+ page report. Price ranges from $400-600.00 or more depending on the size of the home. The inspection takes about 4 hours and I recommend that the buyer be present during the last 30-45 minutes so the inspector can explain and show you any problems.
  2. Hire a pest inspector. The pest inspection will reveal if there is any active wood boring pests on the property and will point out any old pest damage that may need remedial work – like replacing wood if it is damaged but the pests are gone.
  3. If the CLUE report generated by the current owners home insurance shows any past claims, then make sure those issues have been dealt with and won’t happen again. There are some cases where a claim for repairs may make the HOME more difficult to insure. During your 10 days inspection period make sure that you can find a home insurance company that will qualify you and the home for insurance. Mortgage companies require the home to be insured.
  4. Go to the local County building. Ask the county if there is any red flag they have documented. If you need to be sure permits where used you can check that out with them. They are usually very easy to talk to and helpful. If you are planning on adding on to the home, make sure they will allow what you want to do BEFORE you buy the home.
  5. If your house was built before 1978, then consider the fact that there may be lead based paint and/or asbestos. You should research that also.
  6. If you have a well, that should be inspected for water quality, how much water is being pumped, and the well pump condition.