What happens to the report after you buy the home may have consequences to your home’s condition in the future.
All home inspectors hope that their report will be taken seriously. We work hard to have the knowledge to analyze a home in a relatively short amount of time (3 to 4 hours is not that long). We have brief interactions with most of our clients, but you hope to make an impact. Sometimes you feel like you have made that connection, and your advice will be taken to heart. After a reinspection yesterday, I had about half an hour free time before needing to leave for my next appointment, so I decided to drive a neighborhood, looking at homes. I realized that I was near a home that I had inspected eight months earlier, so I drove by it. Then it occurred to me that a home that I had inspected almost two years ago was fairly close, so I drove by it as well.
I was a bit disappointed with one home, but the other held some hope for me. I did not go into these homes. There may have been changes on the interior, but some obvious problems had been left alone. The one house looked exactly the same as when I had examined it ( a foreclosure in pretty bad shape). The other home had updates to the gardens, and repairs to the building that were more cosmetic than structural. However, damage to the gutters had not been taken care of, and the tree branches scraping the roof were still there.
My advice to you new homeowners, who have filed away your inspection reports, is to pull them out once more. I have to accept the fact that buying a home is stressful or consuming may be a better word. A lot is happening. A home inspection just seems as one step in the process. Two recent clients told me that they do not care about the little stuff. They want to know if there is a major concern that they are unable to detect. I think most buyers feel this way. I have known buyers and Realtors who have toured a house many times, not realizing that there was a foundation problem. Then I walk up, and they notice the look on my face, asking what is wrong. I state that I see evidence of a foundation problem right off the bat. Home inspectors are trained to see the signs, while some foundation issues are not perceptible to others. That is why we inspectors are here, but we offer so much more than detection of a major issue. Maybe at the anniversary of your closing on the home, pull out the report to look over what might be there that could still be a concern for you. Why wait one year? Your first concern will be making the home your own with new garden plantings, painting the house, maybe upgrades to the appliances, and furniture. You will not have money to repair the gutters, prune the trees, or seal the joints where water could enter. Maybe at the one year mark, you will be ready to make your home last with those little concerns that the home inspector brought to your attention.
That ends my plea as to the importance of a home inspection report. Now you just have to remember where you hid that report right?