A VA home inspection is probably something that comes with many fears and misunderstandings. However, if you do your research and prepare well, there’s no reason why this experience should be painstaking or tiring. Luckily, many have gone through this process before you, which means there are various helpful tips to help you get through it smoothly. Here’s a quick checklist along with some pieces of advice that’ll help you prepare for VA home inspection in no time.
What is a VA home inspection?
Although preparing for a VA home inspection isn’t necessary to get a VA loan, it is important. It provides a complete top-to-bottom review of your property. This way, you can make a completely informed decision before buying the house you have your eye on.
By contrast, a VA appraisal is necessary if you’re looking to qualify for a VA loan. In this case, an appraiser would evaluate your potential property on behalf of its lender to see whether it meets the two conditions that are a must. The first condition would be whether the property is worth the asking price. The second is making sure if the property meets VA guidelines. If these demands aren’t met, the loan won’t go through.
Why should you prepare for VA home inspection?
For the most part, prospective home buyers want to get ready for VA home inspection as soon as they’re under contract. Of course, unlike a home appraisal, a VA home inspection isn’t mandatory. However, we strongly advise you to treat it that way. A home inspection is much more detailed than an appraisal which means that it’ll do a better and more thorough job protecting what you own. It’s bound to catch anything that seems even the least bit out of place. Once you prepare for VA home inspection, the people you’ve hired will focus on any problematic areas and present you with recommendations for improvements. You’ll gain all the knowledge that landlords sometimes keep from prospective buyers and will then get to decide whether you wish to proceed with the transaction.
Hiring a home inspector
Before making any decisions, though, it’s recommendable that you hire a home inspector that’s reliable and has your best interest at heart. There are, of course, some things that you should focus on in order to hire the right person and not make potentially disastrous mistakes.
- Hire recommended inspectors
Request referrals for a good house inspector from your real estate agent or even your loan officer. Experts should be able to recommend reliable local inspectors.
- Check with trade groups
Organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors keep local members on file. To join these organizations, inspectors must complete a certification process, which helps to ensure that you get a high quality of service.
- Check if they have a license
Check with your real estate agent about your state’s licensing standards, and ensure your inspector meets them.
- Bring up the costs
One of the most important questions you’ll ask while preparing for VA home inspection is how it’ll fit into your budget. Before hiring an inspector, it would be wise to do some research about their fees. The home inspection cost varies depending on the service provider, the size of your home, and your region. Of course, when you consider how much you’ll end up spending on your home, whatever you need to pay will seem like a small sum to pay for peace of mind.
A VA home inspection checklist
A home inspection should give homebuyers a clear overview of the home’s condition. The following are the primary areas that your house inspection should cover.
- The home’s structure
The walls, flooring, foundation, roof, and ceilings should all be in good shape.
- The exterior of the house
Examine the siding, windows, and trim for damage. The external lighting and other elements such as fences should be on the list of things to check. The site should also have suitable drainage and landscaping based on the grade and elevation.
Identify the pipe materials and double-check that everything is adequately secured. Also, look for leaks and other issues with the toilets, showers, sinks, and faucets.
- Home systems
- Included are water heaters, furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces, AC units, and, if possible, septic systems.
If you’re looking for ways to prepare for a VA home inspection, certain things come to mind right away, such as hiring an inspector. However, you’ll also face several obligations that you might not have expected. For example, if your home is being expected while you live in it, you need to find a way to declutter it. In this case, it would be a good idea to rent out storage to keep your belongings in for the time being. If you’re trying not to break the bank while doing so, make sure to plan it in advance.
VA home inspection for newly built homes
Do you need to prepare your home for VA inspection if you’re buying a brand new place? Just because a house is brand new, it doesn’t imply it was built safely or adequately. It’s possible that some shortcuts were taken, safety precautions were overlooked, or the wrong materials were used. A home is a significant investment, so it’s critical to take adequate precautions. It’s strongly advisable to get a professional home inspection regardless of the sort of home you’re buying. This way, they’ll assess the condition of your home and spot any problems before it’s too late.
Areas that are sometimes missed
Once you hire inspectors, you still need to participate in the process. Make sure that they didn’t overlook some less obvious areas.
- The attic and the roof
In addition to the roof, your home inspector should look at the framing, flashing, gutters, insulation, and ventilation.
Determine the wiring type and whether it’s correctly grounded. Examine the main electrical breaker, ceiling fans, and light fixtures.
Once you start to prepare for VA home inspection, you also need to pay attention to all the appliances that may come with the house. Examine the state of dishwashers, ranges, built-in microwaves, garbage disposals, smoke detectors, and any other minor equipment in the house.
Author bio: Mike Jenkins has just retired from a long, fulfilling career as a home inspector. He’s worked in various fields and has gathered quite a bit of experience. When he’s not enjoying his private time with his four grandchildren, he likes helping people by writing informative blogs.