Your search for your dream home is not complete without a home inspection. After all, a house that looks nice on first visit could be hiding unsightly secrets in the insulation or the operation of its home systems. It’s not for nothing that most real estate professionals will recommend that you include a contingency for home inspection in your contract with the seller.

But it’s not just important to get the home inspection. Educate yourself on the home inspection process, or you might find yourself out of your depth and saddled with surprise costs. There are a few misconceptions about home inspections that often trip buyers up. Let’s set the record straight.

Home Inspections are the Buyer’s Responsibility

The home inspection is for you, not the seller. It’s you as the buyer who needs to know what shape the house is in before you move in, so therefore you as the buyer are responsible for the home inspection. You’re the one that will have to choose an inspector, schedule the inspection, and pay for the inspection.  In some cases, as when the house is older or the seller is desperate to sell, your realtor may be able to convince them to pay for the home inspection. As this is the exception and not the rule, however, you should go into this prepared to pay for the home inspection out of your own pocket.

You Can and Should Attend the Home Inspection

Many buyers think that their role in the home inspection ends after they schedule it. You could do it that way, but most home inspectors as well as realtors will recommend that you attend the home inspection. Walk through the house with the home inspector and let them point out the different systems and potential problem areas to you. This will help you to have a better understanding of your house and what you can do to maintain it and possibly repair any problem areas. As you go with the home inspector, they’ll explain the systems to you and possibly offer their own recommendations.

A General Home Inspector is Not a Specific Expert

This isn’t to say that home inspectors aren’t qualified to inspect your home. On the contrary, home inspectors are experts when it comes to the general process of inspecting your home. They are not, however, roofing experts or HVAC inspectors or kitchen appliance inspectors. They may be able to refer you to someone who specializes in these areas, particularly if your house needs work in these areas, but they likely won’t be able to provide you with an expert solution as a result of your home inspection. There also might be certain things about various systems of your home that a home inspector misses, which is why once you move in, you should still have things like an HVAC inspection. The home inspection gives you a good idea of how much work the house might need, so you can know whether or not it’s worth the cost.

The Entire Home Inspection Report Should Be Read

Don’t assume that because the home inspection contains a summary that’s all you need to read. Read the entire home inspection from cover to cover. Yes, it might be a little boring, but this after all a big investment for you. Your home inspection report will contain a fuller picture of the home’s condition and possibly recommendations for various maintenance and repair issues. Once you’ve read through the report and find you have questions, don’t hesitate to call your home inspector or a realtor to answer them for you.

The search for your dream home should not be taken lightly. You need people on your team, like a good home inspector and an experienced realtor. Contact the Barclay Team and tell us about the findings in your home inspection so we can take it into account in negotiations.