Home Inspection Day!
Also known as:
“the last time you’ll be inside this house until your final walk-through the day of closing.”
Hooray for Home Inspection Day! You are getting a home inspection, right? Seriously – don’t skip this step. If you are considering skipping getting a home inspection, remember what Dirty Harry says: “You’ve gotta ask yourself a question: Do you feel lucky?” Hint: The answer is always “No, I do not feel lucky!”
Now that we know where I stand on whether or not to get a home inspection (GET ONE!), we should talk about what your role is on the day of the inspection. I can hear you asking the screen, “What do you mean MY role? I’ve hired a professional to do the inspection. My role is to pay that professional. Heck, I may not even go to the inspection.”
I’m sorry - did you say you might not attend the inspection? Certainly, I am mistaken...oh…I’m not? You should do want to participate, if at all possible. If attending is impossible, due to work/school/etc., conflicts, try to send a trusted friend or relative. No, I’m not joking. There are so many things to do and learn, during an inspection. Plus, if the inspector finds problems, they might like to show it to a set of human eyes, and not just a camera. It may also be the last time you get to enter the home before closing; this is particularly true if the house is still occupied.
What kinds of things can you do, or learn, during the time your inspector is going over the home? I’m so glad you asked! Grab your large tape measure, a pen, a notebook, and let’s head to the inspection. We’ll have to move quickly, through these items. Prioritize the ones most important to you, in the event you aren’t done by the time the inspector is and ready to secure the home.
- Write down the HVAC filter size(s), so you can bring fresh ones after you close. You can ask your inspector to tell you the sizes when they open up the returns to inspect them.
- Peek in the attic.
- Is the space usable for storage? Is it floored? Is there a light?
- Take pictures of things that are important to you, or that you want to replace.*
- When you are standing in a home improvement store, in front of a fantastic sale display of bathroom light fixtures the week before you close, you’ll inevitably be unable to remember the mounting style of the existing ones in the house, or how many bulbs they have...only that you hated them.
- Which bathroom had white tile, and which one had beige?
- Measure the usable wall space in your rooms (exclude the space doors take up when in the open position, and account for door swing paths). This will let you plan at least some of your furniture placement, which is a big help on moving day.
- Will your tv-that-is-so-large-the-astronauts-on-the-International-Space-Station-sometimes-tweet-asking-you-to-change-the-channel fit over the mantle, or will you need to come up with an alternate plan?
- If it’s an older home, measure ALL of the doorways – front door, back door, bedroom doors, kitchen, living room – all of them. In older homes, the doorway sizes can vary significantly throughout the home. It’s good to know in advance if you’ll have to saw your sofa in half to get it into the living room. You might prefer to buy something smaller*…or to be sure you know where your chainsaw, and duck tape, is on moving day!
- Note any tight turns that might impact furniture placement.
- Related: Ask me about the time I had movers try to put an athletic-club-size, motorized, elliptical machine in a bonus room that was down a hall and had a tight turn in the doorway. Ever seen five grown men brought to tears because a 400lb thing had already put a hole in a wall, and was now lodged in a doorway? I have. I doubled their tips.
- Measure the opening of the fridge, if you will be buying a new one. Be sure to note if it is near a doorway and if it has trim. You don’t want the handles sticking out into a doorway unless you’re a fan of bruises and broken fridge handles.
- Interior re-painting is not often included in contracts on pre-owned homes. Take note of how many pictures are on the walls. Will you need to do a lot of patching and touching up? Are there any scuffed/bumped spots (look at outward-facing corners) that will need some TLC? How is the paint on the outside of the front door holding up? Has the mailbox seen better days?
If you think these are all my tips, you are sadly mistaken, my friend! Check back on Thursday for Part Two of this blog for the remaining tips on how to make your home inspection day flawless.
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Jeff Cook Real Estate brokered by eXp
Charleston | Columbia | Greenville