When you are buying your first Utah house, understanding the way a home inspection helps facilitate the process will help you to get the most out of the opportunity it represents. It might seem as if the home inspection step is one of those technical legal formalities that only serve to slow down the purchase. Like an automobile inspection the Department of Motor Vehicles demands when all you want to do is get your car legally registered, it can seem like an irritating and time-consuming bureaucratic hurdle. But, like those auto inspections, if it turns up a problem you didn’t suspect, it can be a godsend!
Your Utah home inspection and the home inspection professional who conducts it are charged with performing a function that is specifically tailored to protect your interests. For first-time Utah home buyers, making the most of the process doesn’t take any study or preparation. The best Utah home inspectors (they’re the only ones I recommend) will make it easy to look over their shoulder during the inspection. It’s not required that you be there, but it’s a very good idea to do so. When you follow along—see what they are looking at, and find out why—you will be taking advantage of this first chance to acquaint yourself with some of the inner workings of your future home.
Most normal-sized home inspections take somewhere between 2 ½ to 4 hours. The ultimate work product will be a written report, which may be computer-generated (those are usually completed quickly—sometimes even onsite) or based on a handwritten checklist. Where specific issues are uncovered, photos may be included for illustration. The plumbing, heating, A/C, electrical, exterior and roof will be examined, with a professional’s opinion on their condition. The object is to give you an unbiased view of the complex items that lie beneath the surface of your future home. Eventually, every house has systems whose components will need maintenance or repair—and even the most candid seller isn’t likely to have a professional quality estimate of what their longevity is likely to be. The home inspection procedure is designed to provide a general idea of what to expect (and how soon to expect it) …although it’s good to remember that the inspector is only able to form an opinion based on what is visible and accessible.
One last important aspect of the inspection process: the written report should be read! Even if you have accompanied the inspector for the entire tour and have discussed the findings, consider the written report “must” reading. It encapsulates all of the findings under one cover—in later years, it can be a valuable reference.
We’re lucky in Utah to draw from a variety of skilled home inspection resources. When the need arises, I’ll be happy to recommend the best from which to choose!