Signing off on your new home is exciting. But it’s also a bit daunting. Much responsibility awaits and there are many repairs, improvements, and potential time bombs to keep track of. A comprehensive list of all your home’s needs and features is invaluable. Fortunately, if you were on top of things during the buying process, you have a home inspection report. You’ll do well to keep it handy and review it after you move in.
Having your prospective home inspected before you buy is critical. If you skipped it before you bought, having it done ASAP is still essential. The inspector will compile a report and provide you with a copy, usually as an electronic document. As you get unpacked and settled it’s easy to forget about the issues highlighted in the report. This is why it is important to keep it readily accessible. Printing out a copy and hanging it on the refrigerator is a good way keep track of it and serves as a daily reminder. It will serve as your master reference list of maintenance issues.
The report usually contains notes on which issues are the most pressing. Looking it over with pen or highlighter in hand is a good idea. That way you can rank maintenance issues and take notes as you go. Take a break from arranging furniture and unpacking boxes and review your report shortly after moving in. This way you won’t overlook the most urgent problems and you can make arrangements for a professional to tackle work you can’t do yourself. With most maintenance issues, patience is not a virtue. The longer you wait, the worse (and the more expensive) the problem will get.
A home inspection usually covers appliances. If your report shows some of them are reaching the end of their typical life expectancy, you’ll be prepared. You can carry out research on brands, models, and features as well as ask around to find out what others have used and been happy with. This should help you get a head start on shopping and be better able to hold out for a good deal on exactly what you want. This sure beats getting caught off guard when an appliance quits unexpectedly.
Your home inspection report is an invaluable tool throughout your time as a homeowner. In many ways, it is like an owner’s manual tailored for your specific home. Reviewing it thoroughly and periodically in the first few months of home ownership will get you on solid footing for any maintenance issues that may come up.