buying your first home - what you should know

Scheduling A Home Inspection As A First-Time Buyer? 3 Things You Should Expect

The home inspection has become a standard part of most home purchase transactions, largely because of the value they provide for prospective buyers. A quality home inspection process performed by a licensed, professional home inspector can provide buyers with an assessment of the actual condition of the home's structure and systems so that they can make informed decisions about how to proceed. 

But prospective buyers who are working through their very first home purchase process are often unsure of what to expect from the home inspection process. If you are currently in the process of purchasing your first home, here are three things to expect from the home inspection

Attending the home inspection can be beneficial

One of the first things to know about the home inspection is that the prospective purchasers can attend the inspection if they choose to do so. While not mandatory, prospective buyers who attend the home inspection and observe the inspector's process have the opportunity to learn valuable information about the house that they can use later as homeowners. 

For example, observing the home inspection process will help prospective buyers become familiar with the locations of the electrical panel, control switches and filters for HVAC systems, water shut-off valves, and plumbing lines and drains. While home inspectors can not offer repair advice, most are happy to answer questions from prospective buyers and help them learn more about the home during the inspection process. 

Home inspections are not for valuation purposes

While a home inspection report does provide specific condition information about the structure and systems of the home, it is not a property appraisal and cannot provide any type of valuation information. Instead, the home inspection is something of a snapshot view of the property so that prospective buyers can better understand any existing condition issues or flaws and use that information for the purposes of engaging in negotiations with the sellers or opting to withdraw from the purchase. 

Most home inspections will find potential issues with the home

First-time homebuyers are often somewhat shocked when their home inspection report contains a list of several condition or repair issues. It is important to understand that very few homes go through a home inspection without finding at least a few potential issues. Because home inspectors are trained to note the condition of the home's structure and systems as accurately as possible, they are required to list even relatively minor issues, such as a dripping faucet or cracked electrical outlet cover, along with more serious issues. 

Scheduling the home inspection with a reputable, licensed home inspector and attending the inspection process can help first-time homebuyers get the information they need to feel more confident with any home purchase decision.