Building inspectors are not just a thing of the past. They still play an important role in ensuring that new buildings meet local and national standards before they’re even built. The process is known as pre-purchase building inspection, or PIBI for short. It’s also called a homebuyer inspection if you buy a home instead of renting one.
In most states, all new construction needs to be inspected by a licensed professional engineer. If that person finds something wrong with the plans, he’ll contact the builder immediately so it can be corrected. If there’s no problem found during the pre purchase inspections, then the buyer can sign off on the plans. At this point, the builder has to pay the inspector to perform the work. A good homebuilder will have his own inspector do the checking.
If you’ve ever bought a house, then you know how frustrating it can be when your contractor does shoddy work. You call him up, tell him what’s wrong, and he says that he doesn’t understand why it isn’t working correctly because he followed the plans exactly. This happens so often that some people start calling their homebuilders “home inspectors.” Unfortunately, these inspectors don’t actually inspect anything. They’re simply trying to get through the job quickly and avoid getting fired.
Pre-purchase inspections are different. Home buyers are looking out for themselves. Instead of paying the inspector to come in and check everything himself, the inspector sends photos and/or videos of any problems. Then, if the prospective buyer wants, they can hire a professional inspector to look at everything more closely and make any changes the homeowner wants.
So, why should you pay someone else to check out your new home? Here are three reasons:
You might find a problem that isn’t noticeable to the naked eye.
Some problems only show up after the structure is finished. For example, if you notice water damage when you move in, or your roof leaks every time it rains, then those things won’t show up until later. But if you have a good pre-purchase inspection, then you’ll know about them sooner rather than later.
You don’t want to find out that the builder was lying.
This happens all too often. Some builders will promise that their homes are earthquake safe when they aren’t. Others will promise that they’ll include a certain feature in their plans but never put it in. And others will use cheaper materials that end up costing more money to fix down the road. Homeowners who rely on the honesty of their contractors may be disappointed when they discover they were lied to.
Homebuyers who take advantage of pre-purchase inspections help keep other homeowners from falling into this trap.
There are many companies that offer pre-purchase inspections. But some of the best ones are local businesses who have been around for years. These are the kinds of people you want to deal with. They know their business inside and out, and they’re going to do a good job.
How Much Does a PIBI Cost?
It depends on several factors. First, how much experience the inspector has. The more experienced he is, the better the report he’ll produce. Second, how far away the property is from the office. Third, the complexity of the building. Fourth, the amount of time required to complete the inspection. Finally, the costs associated with the job.
You probably don’t need a full PIBI if you’re buying a condo or townhouse with few rooms. In fact, the cost of such a service may be higher than the price of the unit itself because the seller would have to pay for the inspection fee as well as the home’s closing costs. However, you may want to consider a PIBI if it means saving thousands of dollars over the life of your new home.
What Should I Look For When Choosing a PIBI Company?
First of all, choose a company that offers a written contract. You should be able to see how long the inspection takes, how much it costs, and whether you can cancel at any time before signing. Also, ask for references from former clients. If you’re dealing with someone you don’t trust, then you shouldn’t expect the best possible result. Finally, always read the fine print in the contract carefully.
How Long Does a PIBI Take?
It varies. Many small projects can be inspected within two days. Larger jobs may require weeks or months. There are also times when inspectors get busy and take longer than normal to finish a project. So, don’t wait until the last minute to schedule a PIBI.
Is There Any Way to Cut Costs?
Yes, there are ways to save money. First, shop around. Talk to other people who have used a particular company. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Most importantly, don’t settle for the first bid you receive. Negotiate. Offer to pay less or give something in return. Remember that every hour you spend negotiating saves you an hour of searching for another company.
Can I Skip the Inspection?
No, you can’t skip the inspection. That’s why it’s called a pre-purchase building inspection. If you find something wrong with the plans, you’ll have to correct it before the builder can build. You could try to save yourself some money by skipping the inspection altogether. But you’d certainly be wasting your time since there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a problem.
Should I Hire Someone Else?
Absolutely not! Professional engineers are highly trained professionals. They’ll be able to spot problems that you just won’t see. Plus, they’re more familiar with the type of building you’re purchasing. That means they’ll be able to find problems that you might miss, such as a lack of proper insulation or ventilation in your attic.
These are only a few points I’ve mentioned to assist you when touring a house you are thinking about buying. How serious it is and how much it will cost to fix it all are crucial factors to think about. To conduct an exhaustive building inspection, there is a lot to look for and perform.
It’s pretty obvious why you should go ahead and get a PIBI done. But why should you pay for it? Because it’s the right thing to do. Your new home deserves to be checked thoroughly before it’s delivered. You wouldn’t let a stranger walk into your house without first making sure everything was in order. Why should you treat your new home any differently?