Being a first time home buyer can be a scary process. All the hoops you have to jump threw to get to the end of the process can be exhausting.
You applied for a mortgage, filled out all the required paperwork, and you’re now Pre-Approved! After months of hunting, you finally find the one! But wait, one more final hurdle, the home inspection. For first-time homebuyers, the home inspection can be a scary process. Not knowing what to expect or how the process is supposed to go. We at Home Inspection Carolina understand and would like to help you to understand the process of your home inspection better.
So what is the home inspector’s responsibility?
The primary responsibility of a home inspector is to protect you, the client. But first, you must understand how a home inspector protects you. Your home inspector is the generalist, think of them as your House MD. Just in the same way, you would make an appointment with your physician for a routine physical. If your physician identifies an irregular rhythm within your heart, they would then refer you to a specialist to further evaluate you and try and determine the next course of action.
The home inspector does the same for your home. When a home inspector finds an issue that needs to be further evaluated, they would recommend you to a specialist, such as a general contractor (GC), licensed plumber, licensed electrician, etc. This referral protects you, so you can completely understand the extent of any problems in your new home.
So why hire a home Inspector instead of a specialist?
You could just go directly to the specialist for each individual system. This, of course, costs you time and money. Scheduling multiple people to inspector your home at the same time can be difficult. The benefit of hiring a home inspector is that they have been trained within all systems of the house and have general knowledge with everything about the house. A specialist generally is only knowledgeable and specializes in one system or area of the home.
So, What should I expect from my home inspector as a First time home buyer?
Your home inspector is there to help you in making an educated decision when purchasing your dream home. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Your home inspector will conduct a visual inspection, looking for significant defects. Some may be cosmetic in nature, but your home inspector will mainly be focusing on significant items.
So, what are some questions you should ask your home inspector?
The whole process can be a little overwhelming, so we created some key questions you should ask your home inspector during the home inspection process.
10 Questions to ask your Home Inspector for a First Time Home Buyer.
- Where is the main water shut off?
(This is important to know in case of an emergency, or if you want to turn off the water when going on vacation.)
- Where are the GFCI outlets located, what do they do, and how to reset them?
- Does the home have AFCIs? If so, where are they located and how do I reset them if they are trip.
(The GFCI and AFCIs are electrical breakers that protect you. GFCIs are required in areas where water is located. AFCIs are typically located within the electrical panel. They trip if there is an arc within your electrical system.)
- How many thermostats does this home have, and where are they located?
(You may have a home with multiple thermostats that control one unit or two. This is good to know what they control so you can efficiently heat and cool your home.)
- Where are the return air registers and air filters?
- What size are the air filters, and how often should I change them?
(The air filter is the most important and inexpensive way to maintain your HVAC system. If the air filter becomes clogged, it causes the unit to work harder to pull air across the air filter, causing strain or stress on the unit, ultimately reducing the lifespan of the unit.)
- Is the home equipped with Carbon Monoxide detectors, if so, where are they located?
(If the home is equipped with gas appliances, you want to make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are installed for safety. If not, make sure that you install them after moving in.)
- If there is a fireplace with gas logs installed?
(Ask your inspector how they work, start them, and if there are any safety concerns that you need to be aware of.)
- What is the age of the HVAC UNITS? (Heating and Air Systems)
(Home inspectors may not be required to identify the age of the units within the report, at the inspection is a great time to ask them. Knowing the age of the units can give you a good estimate of how much life you can expect to get out of them with proper maintenance. The typical life span of a unit can range from 10 – 15 years.)
- Don’t hesitate to call your inspector after you receive the report. If you don’t understand something, the home inspector is there to help you through the process.
At Home Inspection Carolina – Our Mission: To ensure that all our clients receive exceptional service and satisfaction. Creating client relationships and protecting your investment is our #1 Priority!