3 Reasons to Be at Your Home Inspection
Searching for a home involves asking a lot of questions … and those questions don’t end when you find the house you want to buy. A big one for buyers is, “Should we attend our home inspection?" The answer is an indisputable "Yes!"
1. Getting your information firsthand
While not required, I believe that a face-to-face meeting between the home inspector and the home buyer is a vital part of the inspection process, even if it is just for the last 30 minutes of the inspection. You get to hear firsthand the details of how the inspection went, and we get to hear your questions and concerns. Ten years in this industry has taught me that buyers’ priorities vary. Some people care most about structure, while others are concerned about bad plumbing. Some are concerned more about cracks in the brick, and some fear electrical issues. Our clients’ biggest concerns are best explained by the buyers themselves.
If time or geography prevents you from attending the inspection, most home inspectors welcome the opportunity to go over the report by phone. I've even offered to speak with clients on a video chat, such as Skype.
2. No surprises
Another reason to attend your inspection is to understand what will be in the report before it arrives. We like being able to show the buyers our photos and let them see all the items personally. It's best for everyone to have a clear understanding of the items that will be reported.
3. An unbiased viewpoint
The best reason to attend your home inspection is to see the house from the inspector's objective viewpoint. Recently we did a home inspection for a newly married couple. They found a home in their budget that seemed ideal. In fact, the home looked so good the couple almost decided against a home inspection. But their Realtor strongly recommended having one, just to be safe.
The first sign of trouble was on the roof: no plumbing vents. While in the attic we saw that there was no insulation. A trip into the crawl space revealed that the house was not tied to a permanent foundation, merely set on stacks of cinder blocks. The base for the water heater was a cardboard box.
The couple were sorely disappointed, but were saved from huge, unmanageable expenses down the road. They ultimately found a home in much better condition.
An impartial pair of eyes can see a house dispassionately and give you information on the home’s condition, to help you make the best decision. Speaking directly with your home inspector is a vitally important part of your homebuying process.