The Reasons to Use a Great Home Inspector
The point of the home buying process where the home inspector comes in is the most dangerous and exciting part of the process. At this point, an initial offer has been accepted by the seller, all other interested buyers have been bested, and it’s up to you to close the sale.
But before the sale can go any further, the home must be inspected. The home inspector does a thorough review of the home’s structure and condition, inside and out, and makes the buyer aware of any major deficiencies the home has or fixes the home needs. Armed with this information, the buyer can choose to request repairs from the seller, negotiate a lower price point, or walk away from the sale.
Home Inspectors are by breed an exhaustive lot, and the number of points they go over on the property is extensive. The Roofing, the foundation, the entire exterior, interior, plumbing, electrical – these elements are all subject to inspection. If there is a serious problem with the home that cannot be seen at first glance, the home inspector will find it. This is part of why home inspectors are so important.
What Do I Look for in a Home Inspector?
The three most important words for a home inspector are:
- Bonded, and
If a home inspector does not have these three credentials, they are not a real home inspector. Beyond that, don’t be afraid to do your homework and look a few different inspectors before choosing one. When you meet with them, ask them if they are familiar with homes built in the time period of the one you are looking to buy.
Also, make sure they are familiar with the materials your home is made out of, as different construction materials show different signs of wear as they age. When the inspector comes to the house to do the inspection, they should be there all day; a home inspection cannot be done in a couple of hours.
The home inspector should also have an attitude of neutrality when it comes to the purchase of the house. You want someone who will tell you exactly what’s wrong, without hoping that you buy or don’t buy.
What the Home Inspector Can’t Do!
Occasionally, during the course of the home inspection, the inspector will find a problem that they themselves are not an expert on. These instances require a specialist, and sometimes, it’s a safe bet to place a call to these specialists at the very beginning. Some specialist-required problems include:
- Geological Features on the Property
- Asbestos Removal
Get It Done Right, Fast
The home inspection is a sensitive time in the home purchase process, a part that can make or break the closing of the sale. Most contracts stipulate that the buyer has a limited time in which to have an inspection, so both the buyer and the inspector have to be prompt as well as thorough. Most professional, credentialed home inspectors take their work seriously, and thrive on their reputation in the field. For more on the home inspection, visit our links.
Back to: Build Your Real Estate Team
The Home Buying Process Demystified
The home buying process is wrought with potential pitfalls and challenges, but when done right can be relatively painless. As champions of homebuying, we’ve created this step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Below you’ll find an overview of the home buying timeline as well as the major components of the home buying process with links to the various steps, tools, and information to educate and empower your home search, discovery and purchase.
How Long Does it Take to Buy a Home?
Your timeline may vary, but the following is a good guideline
- Preparing to Buy a Home: 3-4 weeks
- Initial Search for Ideas: 1-4 weeks
- Building a Team: 1 week (overlap initial search)
- Pre-Approval of Mortgage: 12-48 hours
- The Home Search: 4-8 weeks (depending on criteria)
- Contract-to-Close: 14-60 days
So, on average a homebuyer will spend 30-60 days shopping and 14-60 days from contract to close. For some folks, the process can be extremely quick taking as little as 30 days total, while for others, the shopping period alone can last several months.
How Much Home Can I Afford?
The first step in the home buying process is understanding if you have the resources to buy a home. This includes knowing how much home you can afford, what type of down payment and monthly mortgage payment to budget for, as well as what type of loan program you’ll use to finance your new property.
Buying a home is a complicated process that requires a good deal of research. In the course of it, there will be a number of professionals and specialists involved. Once you’ve done your homework and assessed your resources, you’ll need to assemble your team.
Assembling Your Team
After you have a good understanding of your own wants, needs, and goals, it’s time to assemble your team and begin the home search! Who should be on your team? Who you’ll need to find on your own may vary, but the key team members could be: Real estate agent (could be a RealtorTM but not all agents are), home appraiser, title company, home inspector, insurance agent and mortgage lender.
When selecting the members of this team, take the same amount of care you would in choosing a home, because these people will be working for you to help you do just that. Trust & communication are key considerations in working with your team.
Sorting Out Your Finances
With the selection of a mortgage lender comes the application for mortgage pre-approval, a task that requires collecting the necessary financial paperwork to help obtain the approval. Once obtained the clock begins ticking because many pre-approval offers have a limited life-span before they expire.
Your Home Search
While you juggle the paperwork and timelines implicit to the process, remember that your team works for you. Now your search for (and discovering) your new home begins. Research, save, view and repeat. Remember Homes.com has all the tools you need to find and keep track of your favorite properties and home shortlist.
You’ve got a mortgage pre-approval in hand and have found a property you can afford to purchase and see yourself living in. Time for a purchase offer to a listing agent or seller!
Once you receive an acceptance offer, the due-diligence period starts a timeline of checks and tasks for final mortgage approvals, appraisals, inspections, and other requirements that would be stated in the terms of the contract.
Assessment, Conditions & Negotiation
Many consider this to be the most difficult part of the home buying process as it includes, but isn’t limited to, inspection, obtaining the final loan, purchasing insurance, and the potentially arduous negotiation. In this part of the process, every member of your team will be utilized, and the more homework you have done in building your team, the smoother this part will go. Those who haven’t conducted their proper due diligence could potentially see the purchase fall apart at this point.
Closing the Deal!
A successful closing requires all of the team players to come together at the same time, with the same agenda, on the same date, with numbers and figures that match. From the start of the home search to the home inspection and closing the deal, the entire home buying process can take most homeowners about three months.