Home inspections are often lumped (packaged) together with appraisals and while home inspections are usually not required in California, appraisals are almost always required when a mortgage loan is being used.
- Inspection:A home inspector’s primary objective is to evaluate the condition of the house and identify items in need of repair. He’s not particularly concerned with the market value of the property.
- Appraisal:The purpose of a home appraisal is to determine the current market value of the house, based on recent sales activity in the area (and other factors). The appraiser’s primary goal is to figure out how much the house is worth in the current market.
A properly passed inspection will allow you to get maximum dollars for your home and could be the difference in a decision being made to buy your home for any potential buyer that might be on the fence.
Pass your home inspection with these tips:
Check Roof and Foundation
These are two budget killers when it comes to home improvement. Before the inspection, check your roof and foundation. If there is a doubt that something is wrong (like a leak in the roof), you should call a local contractor to come have a look. They can estimate the cost of the repair and see if it’s a big issue or not. By having this done before the inspection, you are saving the potential buyers a huge worry.
Your roof plays a key role in your drainage. If faulty, poor drainage can ruin your foundation. In fact, poor drainage is the No. 1 problem home inspectors find.
Make sure your downspouts lead water away from the home. They should be thick and long enough to handle large amounts of water. Especially in areas of heavy rainfall, downspouts of 3X4 inches are highly recommended.
Clean It Up
Sometimes, a happy home inspector can make all the difference. Therefore, make sure it’s easy to move freely about the home. If you have heavy boxes in front of the attic or around the furnace, move them before the inspection. Clutter can’t hide home issues, but it can certainly make for an unhappy inspector and longer examination.
While I highly recommend hiring a professional electrician to check the entire house, there are small fixes you can make. First off, organize the wiring if it’s visible. Then, make sure all light bulbs are changed. If one is out, an inspector or potential buyer could attribute it to faulty wiring. Repairing an electric system can get expensive for some, but make sure your circuit breaker, light fixtures and all wiring are up to code.
Provide Documentation for Repairs & Maintenance
When and if you are completing some projects prior to the inspector arriving, be sure to keep the documentation to present to the inspector as well as any potential buyer. Nothing breeds the “warm-fuzzies” like a recently dated document for repair or replacement.
Ventilation and insulation can create higher gas bills and other HVAC-related issues. First, go up to your attic (if you have one) and make sure there is enough padding and insulation. Some may fall off or wear down over the years. Inspectors will notice, so make sure you fix it right away.
Almost everybody operates at a better level when they are left to do their work without being hovered over. Inspectors are no exception to this rule and remember that a happy inspector can make a difference in your grade. Leave them alone while they do their work but come back prepared to ask in-depth questions about their findings.