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5 Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

5 Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

Here at Westmax, we have a lot of experience replacing roofs and repairing major leaks. We also know that it can cost a lot, especially if the problem is not taken care of right away.

For those that are looking at buying a home, we want to help you make sure that you get the best inspection possible, so that you know what kind of repairs you’re getting into, not just with roofing, but with the countless other major issues that can be found in a home.


1. Research the Inspector

Be wary of using the inspector your real estate agent recommended. It is better to go with a neutral party that isn’t tied to the real-estate industry. Some inspectors may receive incentives from real-estate sellers to underplay or underreport serious issues on a home.

Hire an inspector who is certified by a trade association. Organizations like the NAHI or NACHI put their members through a testing process, hold them to certain codes and standards, and require them to keep their education current.

A Bad Day for Home Inspection:
Before moving into her new home, one buyer brought an inspector out, who gave her a great report on the house—no major issues could be found. Ten years later, before selling the house, she hired the same inspector, who now had more experience.
She lost $5,000 on the sales price after the inspector reported finding that part of the house was missing a foundation.


2. Vet the Inspector

Ask about their experience and qualifications. Just because someone is a “home inspector” doesn’t mean they really know what they’re doing.

Most states don’t require any formal education before you can get licensed to work as a home inspector. Others, like Washington and Virginia, don’t even require you to have a license. So you never know what you’re getting unless you ask.

Make sure your inspector has general liability insurance to cover any potential property damage or bodily injury that can occur upon inspecting the home.

Know exactly what they are going to inspect and what they won’t and then agree upon the price.

A Bad Day for Home Inspection:
An unlicensed home inspector in Virginia was inspecting a condo for the buyer. While checking an electrical panel, he unscrewed the heavy metal covering and let it fall to the floor. The end result was a giant gash in the tile floor of the seller’s condo.
After assuring the seller that the floor wasn’t an issue, the buyer decided weeks later not to purchase. The seller called the inspector’s office to get a reimbursement for the damage caused and was promptly hung up on.
Source: The Washington Post


3. Attend the Inspection

If you attend the home inspection, you can be sure that the inspector has checked every inch of the house. Also, you can be there to ask them questions if something looks like a potential issue. You might remember something from the inspection that the inspector forgets to report.

They should cover at least the foundation, other structural components, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, basement, attic, garage, interior plumbing, electrical system, heating and air conditioning, appliances, ventilation, visible insulation, and fireplaces.

Take notes as you or your inspector find an issue. You can refer back to it when you read the inspection report, to make sure it all lines up.

*Don’t bring a bunch of other people. One or two additional personnel is all a home inspector to handle without getting distracted or frustrated.

A Bad Day to be a Home Inspector:
Here’s a horror story from an inspector from Boggs Inspection Services:
One day, he came out to the prospective house to meet the buyer…and 25 other people. The buyer had a bunch of his family and friends with him to the inspection.
All these people were in the way and asked so many questions and began telling him how to do his job. After hours of helplessly trying to concentrate on the inspection, he had to hold a “family meeting” in the living room, hand out paper and pens for their questions and suggestions so that he could focus.
Source: TurstonTalk


4. Hire Specialized Inspectors

Usually, a standard home inspection does NOT include things like pest control, swimming pools, asbestos, radon gas, lead paint, and toxic mold, so you may need to hire additional specialty inspectors to make sure you cover all the major potential home issues.

Some other inspection specialists include structural engineers, pest inspectors, landscape experts, septic system inspectors, toxic substance inspectors, and roofing specialists.

A Bad Day for Home Inspection:
I recently ran across a reddit post from an unhappy buyer. He didn’t realize that the home inspector doesn’t thoroughly check for certain things. Days after purchasing a house from the late 1950s, he found asbestos tiles underneath some of the carpeting.
They were in bad condition—already crumbling. It was impossible to encapsulate them and put wood floors over them. Removal costs start at $7K and he’s having trouble finding the funds to take care of this huge problem.
Source: Reddit

5. Read the Inspection Report

Request a copy of the inspection report from your real estate agent and make two copies. Save one and highlight / make notations on the other about questions that you have or things that are confusing on the report. You can as the real estate agent or inspector about then before making a final decision.

A Bad Day for Home Inspection:
Here’s a classic problem that can occur when you don’t do your homework. I found this story on an Oklahoma online newspaper.

“DEAR BARRY: In the excitement of buying my first home, I glanced over the stacks of paperwork and never even read the home inspection report. Instead, I trusted my agent’s opinion that there were no major problems. Big mistake! Now I’ve got a leaky roof that was clearly disclosed by my home inspector. If I’d just read the report, I could have gotten the seller to repair the leaks.”

Source: OKNews



Emily Childers, author for Next Level Web.
Next Level Web is a trusted and experienced Internet Marketing company, proud to deliver marketing results with complete transparency. They specialize in Web Design, Search Engine Optimization, PPC Advertising, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing.

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Wayne and his crew with Westmax roofing reroofed my entire house last year and did an awesome job. Wayne was very professional and seemed very knowledgeable about all aspects of roofing. His crews were respectful and extremely professional while replacing my roof. Most importantly to me, they were diligent about taking time to constantly walk around our house with large magnets to make sure any rouge nails were picked up before my kids had a chance to step on one. Wayne noticed that my attic was holding too much heat and it contributed to my original shingles degrading quicker than they should. We took his advice and had Westmax add multiple vents to help release some of the heat causing the issue. Boy was he right, not only did it lower the temperature in our attic space, it cooled living space inside the house too. I wouldn't hesitate to have Wayne work on any of my roofs in the future and even recommend him to my Father as well. Westmax is an example of how a business should be ran, extremely competitive pricing, attention to detail, and great service. Thanks Wayne!

Cainaan NakamuraCapital Projects, Greystar

Westmax Roofing, the BEST! We own a two-story home in Vista.  My wife and I noticed some wood rot under the joist and trim over our in-closed porch. We called Westmax Roofing and asked for an estimate for repair. Wayne came out to inspect our roof and explained to us in detail that the damage was due to the improper installation of our solar panels. The fasteners of the panels caused leakage under the tiles of the roof causing the damage. Wayne was very professional yet very kind and understanding.  His written report helped us to approach the solar panel company to except the responsibility and pay for the repairs done by Westmax Roofing. His crew actually repaired our roof, the wood trim and painted the new portions in only a couple of days. I was expecting to pay for a roof repair and it cost me nothing. We highly recommend Westmax Roofing for quality performance and professional honest service. Thank you Wayne for repairing our roof!!

Val & Cathy NakamuraVista Home Owner

Good price, quality work, speedy installation, thorough cleanup. Fantastic appearance.

Jeff WoodardHomeowner - San Marcos, CA

Wayne has done many jobs for me, various commercial roofing projects, and several coating jobs, including re-roofing my house and cabin. He is reliable and I can trust him to provide excellent quality and professional service every time.

Eric AtkinsonContractor/Homeowner

Westmax Roofing Inc. did an exceptional job on our roofing project. Communication was frequent and the project ran as smooth as expected, with no delays.

Chase BallardDirector, Capital Projects - Greystar Real Estate Partners

Work was done thoroughly and professionally at our business.  It was a very large job. Came in under budget.

Brian HawthorneCo-owner of Hawthorne