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US homes: Six home inspection tips for smart buyers

Buying a home is a moment to feel proud. You will feel even better about your purchase if you know you are getting good value. An inspection by a qualified home inspector will help ensure that you can enjoy your dream home for years to come.

2-minute read

1. Get recommendations. 

Do you have trusted friends or family who have bought a home recently? If so, would they recommend working with the same home inspector? Your real estate agent may also be able to recommend a qualified home inspector. (Even with a recommendation, you will want to look at a prospective home inspector’s experience, background, and certifications.) 

Professional organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors are some more great resources. 

2. Pay attention to licensing requirements. 

Some US states, including New York, require home inspectors to be licensed. If your state has this requirement, you will want to confirm that your home inspector has a valid license. 

3. Once your offer is accepted, schedule an inspection promptly. 

If your home inspector discovers any issues, you may want to renegotiate. Scheduling an inspection early will give you as much time as possible to work with the seller. 

4. Do your own pre-inspection. 

Before inspection day, take a look at common problem areas like the roof and foundation. You can ask your home inspector to pay special attention to any trouble spots. 

5. Be there for the inspection. 

Take this opportunity to ask questions. Your home inspector can also point out any issues they see in real time. Consider bringing along a family member or friend who has been through a home inspection to help ask questions. 

6. Know that no home inspection covers everything. 

Be aware that the inspection is limited to what your home inspector can see and access. To check for a specific issue like mold, termites, or radon, you can always schedule another inspection with a specialist. 

Further reading

Along with a thorough home inspection, thoughtful budgeting can help you buy with peace of mind. Learn about mortgage origination fees and how to account for them when budgeting for your new home. 

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