Our First Home Inspection Re-Cap

home inspection tips

We had our first-ever home inspection on Friday. Considering it was on Halloween, the inspection was appropriately scary. I spent the weekend pouring over it (and stewing), researching, and talking to electricians and other specialists for more information and quotes. We are incredibly disappointed and so upset we may have to walk away if we can’t negotiate further. The four biggest red flags: water drainage, roof, heat, and plumbing were all noted as issues warranting further inspection by specialists. We anticipated needing to make improvements to a home of this age, but the inspection report was a bit of a sucker punch to the gut. The most upsetting though, was how misled we were by the listing description.

I accompanied our inspector outside for the roof inspection and he said he had never seen a “new” roof with an issue like what he saw: 80% of the nails were poking up through the roof. And the “newer heating” as it was described in the listing is as old as I am! A meticulously well-maintained furnace could maaaaybe eek by to last 30 years, but the average lifespan is 15 years, with 20 years as a best-case-scenario. Clearly, these deficiencies weren’t reflected in the list price and because there was no seller disclosure, we wasted over $500 on a home inspection to have these things revealed to us. Now I know why there is a pellet stove in the finished basement.

I feel so frustrated and upset and exhausted. Negotiating this deal without the help of a true “buyer’s agent” has been extremely difficult. We’ve been so fortunate to have my mom’s expert guidance behind the scenes (doing the legwork of an agent) without any benefit of commission. (Thanks Mom!) But a silver lining is that this experience has been a crash course in real estate and home ownership. I know SO MUCH more about home repair, cost of systems and maintenance, how to prepare for an inspection and how to access future properties than I did going into this. I’m also really proud of how Brian I have approached home ownership. We’re being realistic about our wishes and goals and taking this incredibly huge investment very seriously. We’ve been so on-the-same-page about everything, from placing the offer(s) to what additional testing we wanted to add to our home-inspection (radon and mold). It’s just really reassuring when you’re in the middle of a total mess to feel so certain of the partner holding your hand.

Actually, this morning as I lay in bed angsting over the house again, eyes still shut, I felt for Brian’s hand under the covers. As we held hands, I felt him turn on his pillow to smile at me. It was sweet — and reassuring. Despite what happens with this place, we have each other and whatever will be will be. I know we’ll end up where we are meant to. But in the meantime, all this has made me even more anxious to get my real estate license. So that will be something I’m going to more seriously work toward in the next few months.


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