Buying your first home on Oahu can be a very exciting time for any prospective first-time homeowner. My job as a first-time buyer specialist is to make my first-time buyers feel comfortable and confident going through the home process. As first-time buyers, it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed and nervous, but with the right real estate agent with you along the way, the process will also be fun, educational, and all the worthwhile!
We’ve finally found the perfect home! Not only is the home inspection the perfect time to revisit the property, but this is also your time to discover what you are truly buying – for better or for worse. As soon-to-be new homeowners, it is important to be fully aware of any potential problems that may be uncovered through a home inspection.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about a home inspection:
- Who does the home inspection?
It is absolutely recommended to hire a professional home inspector to conduct a thorough inspection on the property. While you may have a friend or family member who is willing to do it for free, the cost of overlooking a major concern to an untrained eye will cost you a lot more money than it would be to simply hire a professional. While your friends or family can recommend a home inspector, your realtor should also have a recommendation for you.
2. Who pays for the home inspection and what is the cost?
The home inspection is typically a buyer’s expense and usually nonrefundable. While the seller will typically pay for other escrow items such as the termite inspection, condo documents, & more, the home inspection is normally a buyer’s responsibility. The cost will depend on the particular property features, including square footage, # of bedrooms, type of property, and more.
3. Who should I bring to the home inspection?
While it may be tempting to bring family and friends to your home inspection (after all, it’s a great opportunity to show off your soon-to-be new property!) it is recommended that only the people who will be taking title of the home, or those with a financial interest, should be the ones attending the home inspection along with your realtor. Keep it simple. Too many conflicting opinions, while they may be well-intended, can often throw you for a loop and affect your judgement. To avoid distractions, only the potential homeowners, the realtor, and the home inspector should be present at the inspection. If you want your friends and family to visit, save it for the housewarming party.
4. What concerns should I have?
Home inspection day may be a little overwhelming to some. Keep in mind, it is the home inspector’s job to point out every little thing that could potentially be “wrong” with the home. The inspector is trained to be very detailed so even the smallest of items will be mentioned. No home is ever perfect or void of flaws, not even a new construction home, so it is very normal to find items noted within your home inspection.
For an in-depth post about home inspection concerns, click here to read.
5. What’s next?
A home inspector will nearly always identify problems within a home. Again, no property will ever be perfect – just because a home has issues, this does not mean that you should not be buying it. Instead, discuss with your realtor about getting the seller to address any major problems noted. From there, you can move forward in confidence with your home purchase.
With the home inspection complete, you are about halfway through the home-buying process! Read on to First-Time Buyer Series #8 – Completing the Escrow Process.