Jun 30, 2012

Preparing for a home inspection

Preparing for a home inspection can be fraught with fear if you are not properly prepared. This is a process that should have started long ago by first inspecting your house on your own, and then with an agent if you are going to use one. You’re overcome with anxiety and have many things to do from calling the movers to enrolling the kids in school to packing valuables and saying farewell to neighbors and people you have come to know.

Preparing for a home inspection typically starts long before the hiring of an agent. Whether you are producing a seller’s home inspection for the buyer or expecting the buyer’s home inspector to appear, it is best to have one. Here are some recommended ways to get ready for a home inspection.

• Present a clean house. Make some special effort in areas where there is clutter and wipe the walls and your appliances. Taking the rooms one by one, a female buyer’s most important room in the house is the kitchen. Are the walls clean? Could you change the faucets and put new handles on the cupboards? More importantly, remove all clutter around the heating or air conditioning equipment. Let the house speak for itself.

• The inspector will need to test and run the appliances so leave the utilities connected. Without utilities the inspection will have to be rescheduled which means you might be late for your closing.

• Provide access to the attic by removing boxes and other clutter which will impede progress.

• Clear away brush and other rubble around the house or where the inspector needs to be.

• Cut down tree branches in the summer when the weather is good. You want to present a house that gives the impression that it has been well maintained.

• Have invoices and quotes for repairs ready and handy and give paperwork to the buyers so they can see how things are progressing.

• Stand on the opposite side of the street and view the house as if you are a stranger for the first time looking at the house. You are bound to see where you could plant some flowers or what has to be removed at the side of the house.


Important things to look for when buying a house

Location would be the first priority on every potential buyer’s shopping list. You can’t move forward until you have a location you can check out and work on. You can work with an agent or you and your partner can look for the perfect spot on your own. Here are some things to check out once you have a firm location in mind.

• Is it near the schools, libraries and medical facilities for children? How far would you have to travel if there was an emergency? How far would you have to travel to work? How long would it take if you got a call at school that one of your children is sick and you have to get back there?

• You want to be near the highway but not next to it. If the house you love is on a hill, does it have a lot of steps to climb? Does the house have a great view, but also make it easy for intruders to break in? Can others see from their windows down into your living room or bedroom? Is it safe for your kids to be in the yard on their own?

• What about the neighborhood? Is the house you want the only good-looking one on the street which is littered with newspapers blowing around and bins which are standing on the sidewalks filled with rubbish all week long? Speak to one or two neighbors and ask them about safety and a neighborhood watch. There are people who do nothing else but sit at their windows to see what is going on in the street. They would be good candidates to talk to. It would be terrible if you bought the house only to find that you can’t leave it for fear that you will be robbed.

• Unless you have children do not buy a four-bedroom home for two people. It’s a waste of space unless you plan to run a home business. As well, you will increase your utility bill with heating and air conditioning costs.

• If you are bent on buying the house and are wondering about costs, a good paint of the exterior will do wonders. Always think big when you make such a big purchase. Once you have the house you can’t change your mind. If your dream has always been to live in a nice house but you could not afford it, buy a smaller house in the neighborhood you want and get your foot in. That will allow you to see what else will go on sale in the neighborhood in the event you wanted to move again.