Yep, you SHOULD attend your home inspection.
You’ve called around. You’ve done your due diligence, or maybe you’ve gone with your realtor’s recommendation (see why that can be a bad idea here What you don’t know about hiring a home inspector) and you think you’ve found the home inspector you want to use in the purchase of the single biggest investment of your life.
You ask, “Should I be there for this?” Because, in the back of your mind, you’re thinking…I need to take off work, get a sitter for the kids…reschedule the dentist appointment…
“Nah,” the inspector replies, “Not necessary. You’ll get a report.”
Lace up those Nikes. Run away from that inspector. Run fast.
Because yes. You SHOULD be at your inspection. Here’s why.
I need to know your specific needs.
Yes, there are a laundry list of things that I look for on every house, and many things that I look at thoroughly, regardless of your specific situation. Things like the roof, and the condition of those wood windows.
But your life situation may make some things more important to you in this house than others. Are you planning on remodeling, in which case the fact that the wood windows are rotten is no big deal to you. But you didn’t plan for a new furnace and a/c unit in the next few years…
Knowing your situation helps me pinpoint my inspection to your specifications. I will still point out all the issues I find, but I’ll pay special attention to those that will highly impact you and your family. The inspection process is never a one size fits all kind of thing with me.
I can customize your report
I customize and individualize every report for every house I do. Each report is full of pictures and information detailed for your house. However, if you are there with me as we do the inspection, I can reference our discussion in the report. If we talk about specific things, I can add links for more information to those topics.
I’ll also be able give you suggestions for future actions to take, if we have been in conversation during the inspection.
I Can Point Out the Big Stuff
When my clients are present at an inspection, we always do a walk-through, where we talk about what I’ve found. They have come back again and again remarking that this experience was invaluable time spent. Yes, they have the report that they can keep forever as a reference, but they also have the experience of walking with me and discussing the issues face to face. This is also helpful because I can let you know that some of those things that might look scary to you (like a crack in the basement wall that is in 99% of homes) is really nothing to worry about. You wouldn’t know that if you weren’t at the inspection with me.
The whole process should never feel like a technicality if you choose the right home inspector. I make it as fun and educational as it can be. The things you will learn about your new house will serve you for years to come.
Don’t Sweat It!
If you absolutely cannot attend your inspection because you live out of town, don’t panic. A good inspector (like yours truly) will work with you to find ways to make sure you know everything you need to know about your house. Technology is on your side. But be vigilant, and ask questions. I Skype, G+ Hangout, or have lengthy phone conversations with my out of town folks on a weekly basis. It’s not uncommon for me to be on the phone at 10pm my time, because my buyer is on the West coast, and he just got off work. Sometimes you do what you’ve got to do.
Attending your home inspection is one of the most important things you can do during the home buying process. At times, it may seem tedious, and people may tell you it’s not necessary, but remember that when it’s all said and done, the person signing those mortgage payments every month? That’s you.