First Time House Buyer Home Inspection
First Time Home Buyer

First Time Home Buyers

What must never be overlooked in a home inspection.

First Time Home Buyers: Before The Home Inspection

1. Choose A Home Inspection Company With Top Credentials

As a first time home buyer you have goals, you want to be well informed, and you want to make a wise investment. Choose a home inspection company that understands your needs and will work with you to help you meet your goals. Choosing a home inspection company that is licensed to practice engineering is a wise choice. If you want your home inspection conducted by a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.), be sure that your home inspection report will be stamped with the home inspectors licensed P.E. seal. The practice of engineering is State regulated and licensed; the P.E. seal on the home inspection report is the key to your protection. The practice of engineering is regulated in all States, whereas the business of home inspection is unregulated in about half of the States (anybody can be a home inspector).

2. Don't Pay Twice For A Home Inspection

First time home buyers who retain the services of a home inspector who is not a P.E., may be faced with paying a second home inspection fee if the home inspector uncovers a problem, such as a structural defect, that requires the opinion of a Licensed Professional Engineer. Shouldn’t you retain the services of an inspection company licensed to practice engineering right from the start?

3. Be Sure To Obtain A Written Home Inspection Report

Be sure that your home inspection report will be a detailed written report, not a hand written checklist that is given to you at the end of the home inspection. A checklist may be void of details and may not provide all of the information and engineering advice first time home buyers need.

4. Ask About Important Professional Affiliations

Be sure that the home inspection company you retain has professional affiliations, such as NABIE (National Academy Of Building Inspection Engineers) and NSPE (National Society Of Professional Engineers). Unlike home inspection trade societies, NABIE and NSPE accept only Licensed Professional Engineers as members. Members of NABIE need to meet tough entrance requirements, are highly qualified in the home inspection profession, and adhere to a strict code of ethics
5. Don't Be Confused By Home Inspector "Certifications"

Don't be confused by home inspector "certifications" offered by, or sold by trade societies or companies, or obtained via home inspection home study courses, certifications are available to anybody, a high school diploma is not a requirement and certifications can be readily purchased

First Time Home Buyers: During The Home Inspection

1. Be Sure To Attend The Home Inspection

First time home buyers should be sure to attend the home inspection; the inspection should take about two hours. One picture is worth a thousand words, and there’s a unique opportunity to learn about the home and its systems.
2. Be Sure That The Home Inspector Is Well Equipped

The home inspection engineer should be fully equipped with necessary engineering tools including electrical testers, a fuel gas and carbon monoxide detector, moisture meter, ladder, inspection mirror, flashlight, level, and other home inspection tools, etc.

3. Be Sure To Follow The Home Inspector And Ask Questions

No questions are foolish for first time home buyers, learn as much as you can from the home inspector during the home inspection.

4. Be Sure That All Of The Following Points Are Fully Covered

Location, Location, Location, you’ve heard that often enough when looking for a home. Once you find your home, there’s nothing more important than Structural, Structural, Structural, you need to know that the home you are purchasing is structurally sound (that's an important reason for retaining the services of a home inspection company licensed to practice engineering).

The physical, plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems should be thoroughly inspected and evaluated. The home inspection engineer should look for aluminum electrical distribution wires, electrical systems that are not adequate for modern usage, lead and galvanized steel water supply pipes, aged and inefficient heating and air-conditioning systems, etc.

The home inspection should include an inspection for wood destroying insects that will be accepted by your mortgage lender.

If the home has a well and/or septic system, these systems should be evaluated as well by the home inspector.

The home inspection engineer should look for materials that may be asbestos containing materials.

5. Be Sure To Consider Optional Tests

Where applicable, testing underground storage tanks, testing paint for lead, testing drinking water for lead, testing well supplied drinking water for bacteria, testing for radon gas in air, testing for urea formaldehyde foam insulation, etc.

6. Be Sure To Obtain A Full Verbal Report From The Home Inspector At The Time Of The Home Inspection

The home inspection engineering report should be available the next working day after the home inspection but a full verbal report should be obtained at the conclusion of the home inspection.

First Time Home Buyers: After The Home Inspection

1. You Should Know

A first time home buyer should know the condition of the home being  purchased, including all positive and negative aspects.

You should know what repairs are needed, as well as whether there are any major defects, the magnitude of the repair costs can be obtained from independent contractors although the home inspection engineer may be able to provide you with some guidance.

You should know a proper course of corrective action and whether alternatives are available.

You should know if there are any safety issues that need attention.

2. You Should Expect

You should expect an easy to understand detailed written home inspection report; look for the Licensed Professional Engineer's P.E seal at the end of the home inspector's report.

You should expect the home inspection engineer to provide the answers to any questions you may have regarding the report.

You should expect the engineer's door to be open for answers to future questions.

3. You Should Not Expect

You should not expect the home inspector to offer to repair, for a fee, any uncovered defects (that would be a conflict of interest and may erode confidence you may have in the home inspector's findings).

You should not expect the home inspection engineer to comment on conditions that are not visible.

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