Ahh, home inspections. You're buying a house in the Hudson Valley, you've got an accepted offer and it's time for home inspections. You're nervous about it going well and what will happen if the inspector finds something troubling.
For this blog, I've brought in Tommy Truss from Truss Home Inspections to give you some advice on what to expect when you're inspecting! I've asked him a few common and important
Tony: What kinds of things do you look for when you do a home inspection? Give us the overview of start to finish.
Tommy: The way I like to conduct my home inspections is a very organized process. It's important to me to find all the defects in a home so that potential buyers know exactly what they are buying. I start off outside by inspecting the grounds of the property and then make my way to the roof either by foot or with my drone if I can't access it. Then I'll head inside and start on inspecting the attic. I work my way down from there because it's important to check for water damage by running all the fixtures in the home so when I get to the next floor I can see if there is any signs of water damage from the floor above. There are a million things I’m checking for during the process of this like broken material defects, unprofessional installs, and safety hazards. When I get to the utilities (usually the lowest floor) I’m checking the ages of appliances and the general installs are safe. At the end I always like to review my findings with my clients and answer any of the questions they may have.
Tony: What should a home buyer prepare for when they're going to be meeting you for a home inspection?
Tommy: A home inspection is a critical part of buying a home. A lot of first time home buyers like to bring their experienced family members along, which is 100% ok, but sometimes it tends to take away from them getting to know their future home. Put your trust in your home inspector that they are well qualified and keep the guests to a minimum if possible. To prepare for a home inspection the best thing is to bring as many questions ask you can. Ask all of those experienced family members what kind of questions you should be asking. Remember - no question is a dumb question.
Tony: What are some things that potential homeowners tend to worry too much about during home inspections?
Tommy: Cosmetics!!! All houses have defects and things that need maintenance. It is important to concentrate on expensive items like the roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, and major appliances. The colors of walls can be changed and curtains can be added, its really the big ticket stuff that really matters. But with that being said keep in mind everything is fixable, it's just a matter of how much effort and money you're willing to put in.
Tony: Inversely, what are some things that people tend to overlook or think aren't that big of a deal during an inspection that actually are quite important?
Tommy: I see this a lot where people are wowed by a new kitchen and/or bathrooms but overlook the quality of installs. Especially in this market, builders tend to do a rush job to make a profit but lack on their quality. This is important because the products may not last as long as the manufacture's warranty and can become expensive repairs. Another over looked item are the gutters. Improperly installed gutters can lead to major structural issues and excessive basement moisture that can lead to mold growth. They are inexpensive to maintain and prevent very expensive repairs.
Tony: Should a homeowner thinking of selling also hire a home inspector for a pre-listing inspection?
Tommy: There are so many variables that affect the sale of a house. From my experience I have found that with most people, the unknown is the scariest part of either buying or selling a home. So, why go into negotiations without being prepared? For most of my findings during a buyer's inspection, the sellers are usually unaware of the issues. Ultimately, a pre-listing home inspection gives you more control of the situation and can shorten the time it takes to sell your home. The cost of a home inspection before you sell can actually save you money in the long run.
Tony: What are some things that make the difference between a house that was bought and flipped well and one that was bought and flipped poorly?
Tommy: Quality is the number one thing that makes a difference between a poorly done flip and a good flip. Quality with the craftsmanship and materials used are extremely important. Also checking to see if permits were pulled for the work that was completed. If no permits were pulled, you have to ask yourself if the work done was to the area's code. This can be an indication for what’s behind the walls where a visual home inspection can’t see. It's always important for any buyer and their agent to do their due diligence to confirm proper permits exist.
Tony: Give us some background on you, Tommy. What were you doing before inspecting homes and what drove you to get into this business?
Tommy: As a parent at a young age, I had no choice but to start my career young. I fell in love with working with my hands and the satisfaction it gave me at the end of the day to look back at my work. Starting off as an electrician and then having a great opportunity to join a carpenters union gave me a really strong background in the construction industry. I’ve always been fascinated with real estate and decided to take my knowledge with construction and help people make informed decisions with some of the biggest purchases they will ever make.
Tony: Any tips for people that are nervous heading into a home inspection?
Tommy: Don’t be nervous. The whole reason you are doing a home inspection is to protect yourself. A good home inspector will educate and teach you about the different aspects of a home. Whether you purchase that particular home or not, it is very valuable information that you will learn. So, bring as many questions as you can and use it also as a tool to educate yourself.
Thanks, Tommy for your answers to these questions that a lot of people are curious about when buying or selling a home in the Hudson Valley! If anyone is thinking of hiring Tommy for a home inspection, his contact info is here:
Truss Home Inspections
Thanks for listening,
Team Lead | The Ally Team at J Philip Real Estate
Licensed RE Salesperson
522 N State Road, Suite 100,
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510