Buying or selling a home can be a stressful and overwhelming process for anyone. One of the most important steps of this process is the home inspection, which can help identify any potential issues with the home and give you a better understanding of what you are getting into. However, there are many important things to keep in mind when it comes to your home inspection and your home inspector, especially from an electrical standpoint. In this blog post, we will outline everything electrical you need to know about the home inspection and home inspector when buying or selling a home.

Home inspection when buying or selling a house

Check for permits

When buying or selling a home, it is important to check for permits on any previous work that has been done on the house. This is critical because it ensures that the work was done legally and meets building code requirements. A home inspector does not check for permits, so you will need to do your own research and verify that all permits for previous work done on the house are in order. The permit history for a house can be found either at the City or the County, depending on which entity issues permits for that area. A simple phone call to their office asking for the permit history of the house should be all you need to do.

Click here to see our page about Oregon's permitting requirements.


Home inspectors' training

Believe it or not, home inspectors are not required to have formal training or construction-related background. While they are required to be licensed in most states, this does not necessarily ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and experience to properly inspect a home. That's why it's important to do your research and choose an inspector who has a good track record or comes highly recommended by your neighbors, friends, or family.

You could also seek out a home inspector who does in fact have some construction-related background or has had formal training. Start by asking about their work history. Have they ever worked in construction, or do they have experience in a specific trade related to it? Do they have any specialized knowledge in areas like electrical, HVAC, or structural elements? You can also inquire about their training and credentials. What kind of training have they received, and do they hold any certifications? It's also worth asking if they specialize in residential inspections, or if they have experience inspecting homes that are similar to the one you're considering. Do they primarily inspect residential properties, and how many homes like this one (age, location, building style) have they inspected in the past? Finally, don't be shy about asking for references or testimonials from previous clients. Remember, a thorough home inspection is a crucial step in buying or selling a home, so it's important to ensure you're hiring someone who knows what to look for.


Inspectors only have to do a sampling

It's important to keep in mind that home inspectors only have to do a sampling of testing in the home for their report. This means that they do not check every single item in the home, and may miss important things that could be costly to repair down the line. You can request for specific areas or items to be inspected by the home inspector, especially if you have any concerns.

If you do have concerns, you might consider doing your own inspection and make note of any potential issues that the inspector may have missed. When conducting your own home inspection, key areas to look at include the condition of the roof and gutters, the integrity of the windows and doors, the functionality of plumbing and electrical systems, the status of major appliances, signs of water damage or mold, and the overall structure and foundation of the property. It's also a good idea to check the cleanliness of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The state of the home's insulation and potential pest infestations are also crucial aspects not to be overlooked.

Planning for home repairs and remodel when buying a house

Understand what is covered in the inspection

Before your home inspection takes place, it's important to understand what will and will not be covered. Most standard home inspections cover the major systems of the house including the foundation, roofing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. However, there are other areas that may not be included in a standard inspection such as wells, septic systems, and outbuildings. Make sure to clarify with your inspector what will be covered so you can make arrangements for additional inspections by specialists, if needed.


As a buyer, do not have the seller do repairs

If you are buying a home and the inspection report reveals some issues, resist the urge to have the seller do the repairs. It's important to remember that the seller is often looking to sell the home as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, and may hire the cheapest contractor to do the minimum amount of work necessary to address the issues. Instead, consider negotiating a credit at closing or arranging for the repairs to be done yourself. That way you can hire the contractor you pick to do any repairs that you want to have done to the house before you move in.

The contractor can also do any additional work you would like to have done while they are already making the repairs called out in the inspection report. In fact, you might consider waiting a period of time before moving into the house to have a more extensive remodel done right at the beginning. This will save you money in the long run if you have all the small repairs done at the same time as a larger remodel. That is because the contractors will be taking less trips, only pulling permits one time, they don't have to work around your belongings in the home, etc.

If you are thinking about doing a larger remodel on the house before you move in, be sure to find out if the existing electrical panel is large enough to accommodate the extra circuits you will be adding. It would be good to know at the beginning if a panel change or a service change are necessary for what you want to have done to the home.

Click here to read about the difference between an electrical panel change and a service change.


As a seller, do not do the repairs

If you are selling your home and the inspection report reveals some issues, don't get too caught up in doing all of the little repairs listed on the report. This can be time consuming and costly, and may not be necessary for selling your home. Instead, consider offering the buyer a credit at closing or taking an amount off the sale price to address any potential issues. This will help avoid any issues with the buyer coming back multiple times with additional requests for repair work. They can hire their own contractor and make sure the repairs are done to their satisfaction without having to get you involved in the process.

In conclusion, the home inspection and home inspector are an important part of the home buying and selling process. By keeping these important things in mind, you can ensure that you are getting a thorough and accurate inspection, and can make the best decisions for your needs and budget. Remember to do your research, ask questions, and stay informed throughout the process to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.

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