the faults that I would still want the home. It just gave me more power to negotiate the price,” she says.
A few final words of advice: You should make an effort to be at the inspection to help point out problems and ask questions. Try to bring another homeowner with you to help. The more eyes, the better. If you have a brand-new home, the cosmetic items should be as close to perfect as possible, so don’t be afraid to nitpick.
“People need to understand that you’re the one spending all of this money for the house,” says Jones. “If you’re not happy, then walk away.”
Home Inspection Checklist
To have your home inspection done correctly:
Interview inspectors. Be sure to determine how long he or she has been doing inspections, the quality of training, and whether he or she is certified. You should also opt for an inspector who issues written reports and, if possible, choose one that has errors and omissions insurance (comparable to medical malpractice insurance, which covers the buyer if there is an expensive mishap the inspector overlooks). Check with the American Society of Home Inspectors (www.ashi.org) and the National Association of Home Inspectors (www.nahi.org).
Take a virtual walk-through first. Learn what to expect by taking ASHI’s Virtual Home Inspection Tour (www.ashi.org/customers/vhi_tour.asp). Using a model home to illustrate, the tour covers the major areas of an inspection and explains some of the most commonly found problems.
Stock a personal inspection toolbox. Any time you go to view a home, it is a good idea to take along a powerful flashlight, a pad to write down important observations, a camera to take pictures of suspicious findings, and a circuit tester to test all electrical outlets.
Builders are notorious for being less responsive to complaints after they’ve received their money.And in many cases, they aren’t responsible for cosmetic fixes or those they deem minor after you sign off on the final walk-through.