Why Home Inspections Are Essential

Why Home Inspections Are Essential

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Looking to purchase and rent out a home? Conducting a home inspection before purchasing Kona Hawaii houses for sale is an absolute must. Investors that forego the inspection process stand to waste unimaginable quantities of time and money on unanticipated repairs and maintenance. For many, conducting an inspection will determine whether your rental enterprise will be a lucrative venture or a dead-end.

Some believe they can conduct an inspection of Kona Hawaii houses for sale on their own, primarily due to an unfounded sense of confidence. While a few investors might be equipped with the knowledge to do so, the stakes are far too high to eschew help from an expert, even if it costs a little bit of money. This week we explore the home inspection process and why it’s critical to conduct a professional home inspection before buying.

Why Should I Hire a Home Inspector?

Conducting a home inspection is critical because it can go a long way in preventing future losses. If you conduct a home inspection, you can catch problems like infestations or poor plumbing early on. In so doing, you can better gauge how much you will have to spend repairing the property before renting it out. A property that appears to be a lucrative buy might, upon inspection, reveal itself to require far more expenses than it can promise to compensate for in revenue. In other words, a home inspection can confirm or deny whether a property is truly a good deal or just too good to be true.

Inspections will also save you money in the way of lawsuit prevention. As a landlord, you must operate in abidance of certain codes in order to safely and legally rent out a home. Failing to do so, or to make your property safe for your tenants, could lead to injury and illness ending in an expensive lawsuit.

Say you’re an investor with experience in contracting or renovation of Kona Hawaii houses for sale. You might consider conducting an inspection yourself. However, requesting the help of an expert is, in most cases, the better route to take. There are likely issues that you’re personal experience wouldn’t compel you to search for. Furthermore, many problems with a property are not visible to the naked eye—and if they are, a seller will do everything in his or her power to keep it out of sight. A professional inspector knows exactly what to look for. We recommend searching the American Society of Home Inspectors to find a reputable home inspector.

Tips for Home Inspection

It is important to conduct a home inspection as early in the buying process as you can. Oftentimes, if you catch a minor problem early on, sellers of Kona Hawaii houses for sale will cover the cost of repairs. If not, you can use whatever drawback you find as leverage to lower the price.

It is also important to shop around for and thoroughly interview inspectors, as they are not all created equal. Be sure to inquire about experience and certifications, but also ask them for a checklist of what they look at when inspecting a home. You’ll likely want to work with an inspector with a longer list, as he or she is more likely to uncover obsolete complications. Always ask for a license and proof of insurance. Clarify and ensure that you will receive a written report of the inspector’s findings once the inspection is complete.

You may also want to communicate with the seller about the inspection before it commences. The seller may be able to do things to ease the inspection process, like moving furniture and providing keys to make any and everything accessible for inspection. Crawl spaces, attics, and electrical boxes should all be accessible. If your seller fails to set up the home for inspection, it is you who will bear the costs of having to schedule a follow-up inspection to complete the process.

Finally, it is important that you research the inspection process. Make your own inspection checklist to cover any critical bases that an inspector might miss. Never be afraid to ask an inspector questions or to add something to his or her list.

What to Expect

You can expect for a thorough home inspection to take anywhere from 2-4 hours. The specific length of time revolves around the size, age, and condition of the property. Until you have a trustworthy relationship with a reliable inspector, remain with him or her throughout the inspection. If you’re attending the inspection, you can ask  questions you may have about things that you notice. Again, bring your checklist with you so that even if the inspector misses something, you can catch it and inquire as to the seriousness of the issue.

Inspectors cannot always give you accurate predictions of what it might cost to repair the complications they find. They are usually able to provide a ballpark figure, but don’t treat his or her predictions as doctrine. Instead, treat the home inspection as a way to determine the issues most in need of addressing. That way you can better prioritize your repairs. Once an inspector gives you an idea of the most critical issues to address, you should call in an expert in each specific problem to get a more realistic gauge on the amount you can expend to spend. An inspector may even have references for experts to consult with.

What to Pay Attention To

No one is infallible. While you’re with your inspector, you also want to be on the lookout for indicators of potential problems with Kona Hawaii houses for sale. For the novice, we have a few tips on how to proceed throughout the inspection:

  • First inspect the outside of the house, followed by the basement, then the upstairs, and finally the main floor. In other words, begin your inspection in the places where you are most likely to notice problems so that a) you can be on the lookout for related problems elsewhere in the house and b) you can cut the inspection and save yourself some time if you encounter a deal breaker.
  • Keep your eyes on the corners of ceilings, where insect damage, water damage, and mold tend to be most apparent.
  • It is easy to miss issues with the insulation. Be sure to look out for cracked windows or walls, and check to see if the windows are properly sealed.
  • Be on the lookout for warped wood, mold, water stains, and discoloration. These are all indicators of astronomically expensive plumbing repairs.
  • Don’t just inspect with your eyes. Is there a strange smell in the house? Do the floors or railings seem to wobble? Do the floors, lights, or machines in the house make unbearable noise? Paying attention to all of your senses—including your intuition—can go a long way in identifying potential problems.
  • Focus on functionality, not aesthetics. If you’ve bought a home before, it is easy to fall back into that mindset when purchasing a rental property. You might fantasize about living in that property or admire its beauty. However, that sort of sentimental thought pattern can disturb the clarity of your business-oriented brain.
  • Remember that problems with electricity, mold, and water tend to be ongoing. Fixing the immediate problem may only be a short-term fix.


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