Can I Do My Own Home Inspection?
I often hear or read questions that say something like “Can’t I do my own home inspection?” Or “My uncle is an electrician. Can’t I have him do my home inspection?” I am sure that if you do your own home inspection that you will find some things wrong with the home. There are certainly some things that you could check, and I’m sure that you would find some things wrong with the home. If your electrician uncle inspected the home, I am sure that he would find some things. He would probably do a more thorough inspection of the electrical system than the large majority of home inspectors, but what about the plumbing, the roof, and the air conditioning and heating system.
When there is something visibly wrong with a home, such as roof damage, or a light that does not come on, or some water damage, or a broken window, it is easy for these items to be identified. But, what about something that should be in the home, but isn’t there. Would you or your uncle know that it is supposed to be there? Are you or your uncle going to crawl around underneath the home if it is on a pier-and-beam foundation? Are you going to walk through the attic or on the roof? Do you know about combustion air, attic ventilation, required electrical breaker sizes, plumbing vents, roof flashing, etc? The point is that you, a family member or friend may be able to do perhaps 50% of what a licensed home inspector can do. Are you willing to take a chance on the other 50%?
Home inspectors are trained to know and understand building codes and standards. They understand safety standards and know what to look for when it comes to safety. An experienced home inspector will have performed thousands of inspections, and will have learned where to look and what to look for in order to find those serious, but hard-to-find problems with a home. A home inspector will also be a neutral third party who has no financial stake in the home, who has no emotional attachments to the home, and who will give you his or her honest opinion of the home’s condition. Most inspectors will tell you the good as well as the bad about the home. You can then use this information to make an informed decision about whether or not to go forward with the purchase.
In summary, I believe that it is in your best interest to hire an experienced, licensed home inspector to work on your behalf. Sure, it will cost you a few hundred dollars, but that is a very small amount when compared to the cost of the home. Also, it will likely save you at least that much in repairs as items that are found during the inspection can then possibly be negotiated to be repaired by the current homeowner before you purchase the home. Even if few or no deficient items are found during the inspection, it will give you piece of mind by knowing that the home that you are purchasing is in good condition.
Mike Morgan is the owner of Morgan Inspection Services, and has been inspecting homes in the Abilene and Brownwood, Texas areas since 2002. If you have any questions concerning home inspections, please feel free to contact him at 325-998-4663 or email@example.com.