4 ways to achieve home inspection zen

4 ways to achieve home inspection zen

Zen. Bliss. Peace. Harmony. These are not words that are generally associated with the home inspection process. This is a shame, because a higher level of serenity is possible through a little understanding. 

So come with me and let's expand our knowledge and find out how to circumvent stress and plug into tranquility throughout the real estate inspection experience. 

1. No guarantees.

Some people assume that a home inspection is an inspector's warranty on the property, ensuring a trouble-free future. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

A home inspection results in a report, stating the condition of the tested and observable aspects of the property on the day it was inspected. However, the inspector cannot predict the remaining life of any system. A home inspection is designed to help reduce the risk involved in purchasing a home, but it cannot eliminate the risk entirely.

2. The owner has to fix everything, right?

Wrong. Here again, the reality is almost the exact opposite. While it is widely understood that with conventional financing, the house must be insurable and must appraise for at least the purchase price, the rest is a negotiation. 

After you read your inspection report, you will likely have some issues you would like to see addressed. The next step is to get with your realtor. 

They will work up an amendment stating what items you are requesting for either repair or monetary consideration. The owner then has to decide if they are willing to address these issues at all, and if so, to what extent.

3. There will be red ink. Don't panic.

Many inspectors outline the items listed as "deficient" in red. Try not to be as concerned with the amount of red ink, but rather concentrate on the text. 

It is common for an inspector to include explanation, location or detail about the subject, which can make the section of red ink appear large. Remember, substance is key, not necessarily quantity.

4. How to speak "Inspector-ese."

Unless you work in construction, it is likely that you will come across a word or term in your inspection report that is unfamiliar or even scary sounding. After almost a decade in this industry, I can tell you that there is no substitute for good, old-fashioned communication. 

Communication is the antiseptic that kills misunderstandings, confusion and frustration. Most of the items in your report are easily understandable with a little explanation, which your inspector should be more than willing to provide.

While not every situation can be addressed here, hopefully this short guide has given you a clearer understanding of these very important steps on the road to home ownership. Your experience will surely be unique but remember – home inspection zen is possible!

About this Angie’s List Expert: Edie Sherwood is the owner and office manager of Area Wide Inspections, providing home inspection services in Lubbock, Texas. Area Wide Inspections also provides new construction inspections, FHA inspections and construction consulting, and received the 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

As of October 24, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.


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If possible, it's a good idea for a new homeowner to be present for their home inspection in order to get clarity about items on the report, Sherwood says. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James C. of Waco, Texas)
If possible, it's a good idea for a new homeowner to be present for their home inspection in order to get clarity about items on the report, Sherwood says. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member James C. of Waco, Texas)

Home inspection reports can often be confusing to new homeowners. One highly rated provider offers answers to some of the most common questions.

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