We are often asked at Top Inspectors, “how much does the inspection cost?”. This is a valid question, especially when you are saving or preparing to buy a new home. However, the question I like to ask in return is, “how much will it cost you if you DON’T get an inspection?”. One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself and to create a new home budget is get a home inspection.
Knowledge is power, and when you are buying a home, you want as much knowledge as possible. No one wants to live in a home they know nothing about. It can be nerve wracking to be in the dark. “How long will my A/C last? When will the water heater stop working?”. These are questions that every home owner struggles with at some point. But, you don’t have to be confused or in the dark. You can take care of your home and your peace of mind at the same time!
Every responsible home owner in a new home creates a budget. The first part of that budget should be a home inspection. Don’t walk into your new home blind, take control of your future.
Specific ways a home inspection can help you budget
Saving money is great for your budget!
In one of my last posts, I spoke about how much money the home owner actually saves from getting the home inspection. The amount of money saved from the knowledge gained from a home inspection would surprise you (the average is around$14,000!). You can read that article here, as well as the Porch Analysis.
Plan for the future
Obviously budgeting is all about planning. Having useful knowledge about the current condition of systems in your home can help you create a plan to replace or service systems in the future. Knowing a rough estimate of system lifespans can help tremendously when saving.
Create a maintenance plan with your home inspection report
A good maintenance plan implemented now can save enormous headaches and costs later. Most home inspectors have a very good working knowledge of your home systems and can typically recommend good maintenance practices or programs. It is better to maintain your home now than to have to costly repairs later.
These are just a few of the many ways that home inspections can save you money. A few years back, Top Inspectors had a client call in and ask a slough of questions about home inspections. But, in the end he decided to wave the home inspection because he was trying to save money. His Real Estate agent recommended strongly that he get the home inspection, but he would not be swayed and they went through with the purchase (after he signed a waiver refusing the inspection). Within six months his HVAC system failed and it ended up costing him thousands of dollars in repairs and updates.
Get a head start on your new home budget and don’t leave it up to chance. Get a home inspection before you buy!
Congratulations on making it through another crazy year! You may be thinking now is a good time to purchase a new home. The good news is, you’re right, it is a great time! But, buying a house is a big deal and there is so much to do! So many different things to remember that in the hustle of the new year and that holiday daze, we can forget. You can get overwhelmed by all the things needing to get done. With all this in mind, we have compiled a check list to help make your move a little easier!
Make sure to re-read and check the following things before your final walk through:
Your inspection report and purchase agreement as well as, utility system instruction manuals and service information. Most systems in your home will need to be serviced at least once a year by a professional contractor to keep them running smoothly and help them have the best life possible.
Ask the seller for documentation on appliances and equipment. Such as instruction books for appliances, service information, contractor information and any warranties that can be transferred into your name. Speaking of warranties, ask your home inspector if you get any warranties with your inspection.
Learn the operations of your HVAC system. Asking the seller or your home inspector how to operate the heating and cooling system if you are unsure of the operations is a great place to start.
Ask your home inspector about past water leaks on the ceilings, in the basement/crawlspace, at the water heater and other plumbing. It’s been a few weeks since the inspection and you want to make sure to re read your report before going into the final walk through.
Go through the house and make sure there are smoke detectors in all the main living spaces. If not make a note to get some to install after moving in. Pro-tip: write down the date on the smoke detector with a sharpie, (they only last 10 years).
Get a fire extinguisher. Hopefully you will never need one. However, it is always better to have one and not need it then to need one and not have one.
Utilities, Warranties, and Home Insurance
Prior to closing, transfer all the utilities into your name. This is also a good time to ask the utility company about home operating tips to keep your bills low.
Ask your agent or your new neighbors about the garbage and recycling schedules.
Insurance is required by mortgage companies. They may need certain reports done by a home inspector. Make sure to ask if you need them and have them done with your full home inspection. Most home inspectors can perform these reports at the same time as the scheduled full home and you can ask about them when scheduling your inspection. This can also save you some money if done at the same time as a full general home inspection.
Change the locks and security codes when moving in.
Know how your garage door operates and remember to ask for the garage door openers at closing. Understanding the operation of your garage door system and how to use it when power is off is a necessary skill in areas that have a lot of power outages or surges.
Know where your main shut offs are: for water, gas, and electricity. Know where the main electrical disconnect is located in case of an emergency. This could be a fuse block, breaker or switch. As well as the furnace disconnect switch, (if electrical) or the fuel valves (if gas).
More Safety shutoffs in your home
Air conditioning disconnect switch
Hot water shut off
Individual breakers or fuses for branch circuits.
Plumbing valves for appliances and main distribution connections.
In the event of an emergency knowing where these shut offs are is important. Make sure everyone in your home knows where they are and how to disconnect or turn them off.
Know where your lighting controls are. For exterior security.
Have your important documents all in one place
Understand how to operate your new cooling and heating systems
Check for previous or active leaks
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home if applicable
Buy a new fire extinguisher
Transfer utilities into your name and update your billing address
Know the garbage and recycle pick up in your new neighborhood
Change all exterior locks on your new home
Understand how to operate your garage door
Know where your main shutoffs are located
Moving into your new home is so exciting but can also be exhausting. Hopefully this list will help you on your way to a happy and healthy home!