Biggest Home Inspection Mistakes

You spent what seems like an eternity finding the right home for you. The journey started with hours of online searching, picking plenty potential properties from a plethora of listing descriptions. You never thought you’d find so many choices, became a bit overwhelmed, and successfully narrowed your list down to a manageable number. Then, you began to drive by a few of the longshot contenders, even going so far as to see inside. Eventually, it wound-up as a choice between a top few, and, you saw each one, perhaps more than once.

Before you made a final decision, you acted on the advice to visit the homes on different days and different times. The neighborhoods and homes were quite comparable to one another, and, the asking prices lined-up with market value. Finally, you decided on which you most liked, because it fit your needs, had some wish list items, and, a few features you just love.

You put-in a purchase offer and even though the wait was nerveracking, it was worthwhile because it was accepted by the seller. Now, you’ve got a bit of due diligence to take care of, and, it starts with a home inspection. In most real estate contracts, the buyer is given between 5 and 7 days to have a property inspected. This will alert you to any existing or potential problems with the home, and, if something is found, gives you walk-away power.


Of course, the home inspection isn’t the only inspection you’ll schedule. Here in Sarasota, and, throughout most of the Sunshine State, you’ll also be wise — perhaps required — to schedule a wind mitigation inspection, as well as a pest inspection. A wind mitigation inspection is the process of examining a home’s structure and its ability to lessen the impact of strong winds, like those produced during a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane. The roof, windows, doors, and walls are all inspected to determine their condition.

“Buyers need to realize that all of the expenses renters never have to worry about, such as homeowner’s insurance and closing costs, may end up being as much as a down payment. And that’s not even including all the unseen maintenance fees.” —

The single largest reason for a windstorm mitigation inspection is to save money on insurance. Chances are excellent that you’ll pay higher insurance premiums if you don’t have the proof to demonstrate the home’s ability to lessen any potential damage caused by strong winds. A pest inspection, is of course, an examination of the home for any pest infestations, or, potential infestations. Pests can cause serious and costly damage to a home over time, even make it uninhabitable, in extreme cases.


Before you hire a home inspector, do your homework to ensure the individual is a professional and is experienced. Once you’ve compiled a short list of recommendations from your buyer’s agent, family, friends, and coworkers, check each one’s state license online. You should also visit the clerk of the court’s office in your county to conduct a search to see if any of the inspectors are involved in a work-related lawsuit. After you hire an inspector, take full advantage of the examination, but don’t make these big home inspection mistakes:

  • Forgoing an inspection for a new construction or recently built home. Just because a home is new or recently built doesn’t guarantee there are no defects. Regardless of the type or age of a property, it should always be inspected to reveal existing or potential issues. A home that passes code won’t necessarily pass a home inspection.
  • Not attending the home inspection in person. You might want to leave this completely up to your buyer’s agent. However, you ought to be present during the inspection. While you shouldn’t follow the inspector’s every move, you ought to listen to what’s being said, because it’s likely the inspector will point things out here and there.
  • Not taking the home inspector’s recommendations to heart. Some homebuyers don’t recognize the seriousness of certain issues — there are things which don’t seem to be a big deal. In a few instances, minor problems are overlooked for the sake of saving the deal, which can be quite costly later on.
  • Expecting the home inspector to see clearly into the future. If the inspection does turn-up potential future issues, don’t expect the inspector to give you details about when and what will happen.

Another big mistake you ought to avoid is not asking questions. You’ll hear or read certain terms which will probably be unfamiliar to you, such as, “conducive to deterioration” and “serviceable condition.” If you don’t know what something means, the inspector will explain it. In addition, be sure to ask about the foundation, roof, and all major systems.