What to Expect at Your Home Inspection

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 11:25 Written by Emily Burkart

As a first-time home buyer, there were lots of things that had to happen in order for my husband and I to close on our home. I knew there would be paperwork, I knew I would be queasy feelings from the money I signed up to pay monthly for the next 30 years, and I knew there would be surprises. But nothing quite prepared me for my first home inspection.

First of all – what even is a home inspection? An inspector (in our case, a building engineer) comes to your home and inspects every working aspect of your home – from your faucets to the wood siding on the outside of your home. We bought a really sweet three-bedroom starter home – and the inspection took over three hours! We even had someone come and inspect the sewer system. Spoiler alert: there’s nothing particularly sexy about sewer systems, but if you want to know what you’re in for, you need to check all the boxes.

My husband and I were present for the entire inspection, and I couldn’t recommend this enough. We walked around with the inspector and asked every question in the book. He helped us understand that because our little house was built in 1977, we were going to have some issues.

I think that’s the biggest thing that I wasn’t expecting: the issues! The house showed great and was exactly our style. As first-time home buyers, you may not realize that just because it looks pretty, doesn’t mean there aren’t problems. Chris did a great job preparing us for this – he reminded us over and over that even if we bought a brand new, never lived in home, there would be a laundry list of issues. So, with the issues in hand, we had to decide – what were we going to fight for in our negotiation?

We had a laundry list of issues like the gutters needing to be cleaned, the outlets in our kitchen weren’t up to code, and a cosmetic crack in the tile in the upstairs bathroom to name a few. We figured we could fix these things on our own and instead ask the seller to help us with the roof damage, among some other things that seemed more important. This was another part of the process that we were thankful to have Chris’ guidance – he assured us that we could ask for the things we were concerned about, and had a plan in place on how to help us if we were to receive push back on the Inspection Objection. Luckily for us, the seller agreed to fix what we were concerned about, and we were clear to close once the work had been done!

If there was pushback on the objection, how would we know what issues to fight for? What, in an inspection, is a deal breaker? I would say it’s important to stand your ground on things that could cause water damage; or affect the value of your home. Foundation is everything – if the inspection sees cracks in the foundation, you will need to evaluate what could happen in the next couple years. Mold is another thing we were worried about – our house passed a mold test, but that could be a deal breaker to some people. Overall - trust your realtor and what they say. They do inspection objection and resolutions every day, and hopefully you’re working with Chris to figure out how to get the best outcome.

Let us know if Chris or Emily can assist in the purchase or selling of your home – we’ve been through it all and take pride in the work that we do. Let us help you find your place in the world!