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10 Home Inspection Mistakes Buyers Make That They Regret

Home inspection is an important step in the home buying process. You want to make sure the home you are buying is structurally sound and all mechanicals are working properly. Here are top mistakes home buyers make during the home inspection process.

Home Inspection Mistakes

1. Not Checking the Weather Forecast before Scheduling your Home Inspection

Before scheduling your home inspection, it’s important to check the weather forecast. Avoid scheduling the inspection when the forecast calls for heavy rain or snow. It will be difficult for the home inspector to make a thorough inspection of the exterior when it is raining or snowing.

When it’s raining or snowing, your home inspector will not be able to climb up to the roof because it may be too dangerous and slippery for the inspector to climb onto. The same goes with decks and patios, they will not be inspected properly if there is rain or snow.

2. Not Being Present at the Home Inspection

Being present during the home inspection is one of the most important things you can do as a home buyer. Even if you have a busy work schedule, it’s important to take time off to be at the home inspection.

This will give you the opportunity to ask questions and get a better understanding of any potential issues with the property. While the inspection report is detailed, it can be difficult to understand the issues without being there in person.

Home Inspection Mistakes

3. Not Walking Around with the Home Inspector During the Home Inspection

During the home inspection, it’s a good idea to walk around the house with the home inspector. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about the property and any potential issues that may need to be addressed.

The home inspector can also provide you with tips on how to best maintain your house, which can save you time and money in the long run.

I have a free home inspection checklist that you can download and print, it has 20 essential questions to ask your home inspector during the home inspection.

4. Not Hiring a Qualified Home Inspector

When it comes to hiring a home inspector, it’s important to do your homework and make sure you hire a qualified professional. Start by asking your family, friends, and neighbors for recommendations on home inspectors that they like. Don’t just rely on home inspector recommendations from your real estate agent.

Once you have a list of a few home inspectors, call them and talk to each one. To help you get started, I have a free download that includes questions to ask home inspectors.

5. Not Doing the Radon Test

If you’re buying a house in the New York suburbs or an area where radon is common, your home inspector will likely offer you radon tests that you can add to the basic home inspection. I highly recommend that you add the radon test to your home inspection. Even if there is a radon mitigation system in place, you should still conduct a radon test to ensure that radon levels are acceptable.

It’s important to note that you should also conduct a radon test even if you don’t have a basement (your home is on a slab). There is a common misconception that if there is no basement, there is no radon. However, radon gas is emitted from the rock and soil. So if your home is on a slab, you never know if the rock you are sitting on has radon or not.

Even if you’ve heard from a neighbor that there is no radon in the area, you shouldn’t skip the radon test. And just because you don’t see radon systems in your neighborhood does not mean your house is radon-free. Don’t skimp on your home inspection, it’s worth it to pay extra for the radon test.

Home Inspection Mistakes infographics

6. Not Doing the Water Testing

If your house is on well water, I suggest adding a water test to your home inspection. This will help you test for e-coli bacteria and other chemicals that may be present in your well water. It’s important to make sure that your well water is safe for drinking, so don’t skip this important step.

7. Not Checking the Septic System

If your house is running on a septic sewer, it’s important to have a septic specialist check the septic system. Most home inspectors do not include a septic system inspection since it’s usually done by a septic tank company.

Sometimes the septic inspection is free, but sometimes it costs extra. Either way, you should do a septic system inspection along with your basic home inspection to make sure the septic system is working properly. You don’t want to get stuck buying a home with a failing septic system because replacing or fixing septic systems can be very costly.

Home Inspection Mistakes

8. Not Reading the Home Inspection Report

Make sure you read the home inspection report thoroughly. I know it’s a lot of pages to read but take your time and read it carefully. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the home inspector for clarifications.

9. Not Following Up on Home Inspection Issues

After reading the home inspection report, identify a list of home inspection issues that you’d like to negotiate with the seller to get them repaired before you buy the house.

10. Getting Stuck on Minor Issues

When it comes to buying a home, it’s important to work with your real estate agent to figure out what issues are worth negotiating with the seller and what issues are small enough that you can just absorb them into the cost of buying the house. You don’t want to risk losing a perfectly good house over minor repair issues.

It’s important to remember to be realistic when it comes to minor issues. If you’re buying an old home, it’s normal to have minor issues. They shouldn’t be deal breakers. Instead, focus on negotiating the big, costly issues.

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