A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process as you look at Midland homes for sale, since it gives you information about a home's condition. Buyers should have homes inspected before the sale goes through, and if the inspection highlights significant issues, they may choose to buy another home or ask for a reduction in price.
Our REALTORS® recommend asking your home inspector these questions:
- What are your credentials?
In some states — including Michigan — home inspectors don't have to be licensed. Home inspectors can earn certification and accreditation from groups like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Ask how much experience a home inspector has and whether they've worked in any helpful trades, such as electrical or plumbing. Also, ask for references as well as a copy of a sample report.
- What do you check?
It's important to understand exactly what a home inspector checks. They come armed with a long checklist of 1,600 features to check on a home, from the roof to the foundation.
- What is not included in your inspection?
With so many items to check, you might think that your entire home will be inspected, but that's not the case. Home inspectors are limited to a visual inspection, so they can't see behind walls. But sometimes they'll see outward signs of a potential problem inside the walls. If that's the case, you may need another expert, like an electrician or HVAC technician, to come to take a closer look.
- Do inspections include checking for mold or radon?
Some home inspectors will check for mold or radon, but it's usually an extra service that's added to the price of a regular inspection. If you want mold or radon checks to be performed at the walk-through, you'll need to set them up beforehand.
- Can I come with you to watch the inspection?
A home inspector should be open to you attending the home inspection. After all, this is your chance to learn about the home and its condition and to ask questions you may have.
- What does this issue mean and is it a big deal?
If a home inspector points out an issue, you may not know how big of a problem it is. For example, if rotten boards are spotted, what does this mean? How hard are they to repair, and how much will repairs usually cost? Do they indicate a larger problem?
- Has the home undergone any significant renovations?
With any home that's not new, but especially with older homes, you should find out if it's undergone any significant renovations. The owner may be able to supply this information, and if so, you should ask the home inspector to pay special attention to these areas. If this information isn't supplied, your inspector may find evidence of renovations. These should be checked closely to make sure a previous owner's less-than-expert DIY efforts won't end up costing you money in the long run.
- How do I maintain this HVAC unit, etc.? A home inspector can explain the basics of how to care for some of the major components of your home. They can give you information about the elements of your home, including how they work and what kind of maintenance they'll need.
Contact Ayre/Rhinehart REALTORS® if you'd like to buy, sell, or rent real estate in the Midland, MI area. We'll make sure you understand every step of the process, including a home inspection, and ensure that your transaction is a smooth and easy one.