Grand County Real Estate: Can I do the home inspection myself?
April 4, 2008
Q. The contract says I have a right to inspect the home; does it matter if I hire a professional or do the inspection myself?
A. I recommend hiring the professional. Often times when going thru the buying process, every penny counts and skipping the professional might save a few dollars up front but may cost much more down the line.
If you discover items for the seller to fix, a professional opinion is considered more reliable than a personal opinion. A home inspection generally costs $300 – $400 dollars and is typically priced according to sq. footage, type of structure and any outbuildings to be inspected in addition to the home. The buyer can attend the entire inspection or meet with the inspector at the home for a briefing at the end of the appointment. This is an opportunity for you to learn the important operating systems of the home. The inspector will point out any areas of concern he noted on the report and answer questions for you. The report will be divided into areas of the home for easy reading and usually has a front couple pages with the noted items of concern.
This is a summary of what was discovered and points out quickly what the inspector recommends having repair, replacement or research completed on. I include a copy of the professional inspection report along with the required contact paperwork to the seller for inspection objection. The seller has a chance to read the inspectors interpretation 1st hand. The professional report is more effective in achieving a solution for the repair items than a handwritten or typed page from the buyer. The inspector is an unbiased third party to the transaction and is not personally vested in the outcome of the work he has performed. The seller understands this and is able to focus on the facts at hand. Ask your realtor for referrals or use the internet to research what home inspection companies work in your area. Payment is expected at time of service or arrangements can be made for a credit card payment in advance. I know it is hard to keep writing checks and spending money when buying a home, but a typical buyer moves only every 5 to 7 years so it is a small cost for the return and it is not an ongoing cost, just once for each time you buy.