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What to Look for in a Home Inspection

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Boise Home Tips

What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Home Inspector

Navigating today’s real estate market can be challenging with fluctuating interest rates now topping 7%, homes taking longer to sell, and the rising cost of living. For buyers, especially those who thrived in the low-interest, quick-sale market environment of recent years, setting realistic expectations is more important than ever. The desire to get more for their money is strong among today’s buyers, but it’s essential to align these expectations with the realities of homeownership.  Here is what to look for in a home inspection

Setting Realistic Expectations in Today’s Market

Updated Homes: Many buyers, especially first-timers, seek turn-key homes that don’t require immediate investment beyond the purchase price. Given the steep interest rates, accumulating enough funds for both a down payment and closing costs can be a stretch, leaving little left for unforeseen expenses. In Boise, demand for recently updated homes has driven their prices up, setting a new premium in the market. While it’s fair for buyers to expect minimal immediate repair costs when paying top dollar for a remodeled home, it’s also important to remember that maintenance is an ongoing aspect of homeownership, irrespective of the home’s current condition.

Importance of a Thorough Home Inspection

Preparation is essential to make the most out of your home inspection. Before you put an offer in on a home, it would be wise to know what type of inspections you may need i.e. sewer scope, lead based paint, well/septic, radon, etc. etc. Research any potential inspectors thoroughly now, before you are under contract, and give them a call ahead of time to discuss pricing and to ask any pertinent home inspection questions. Also, ask what the inspection process entails. Once the seller has accepted your offer you or your realtor will schedule the inspection.  A good inspector will physically crawl into the attic and crawl space instead of just taking a quick look around from the opening or doorway.

Home Inspection Insights: A thorough home inspection can reveal both minor and major issues. No house, not even a new one, is perfect. Anticipate that the inspection report will list some necessary repairs. Homeownership inherently includes maintenance costs, which should be considered when budgeting for a house. It’s wise to request repairs or credits for major issues, but expecting every small defect to be addressed can complicate negotiations, especially in a competitive market.

Key Areas to Focus During an Inspection

  1. HVAC System: Verify if it’s functioning correctly and inquire about its maintenance history.
  2. Water Heater: Check for proper operation and potential leaks.
  3. Roof: Assess the age and condition of the roof, including any visible damage.
  4. Sewer System: Consider a sewer scope for older properties to check for tree root damage or other issues.
  5. Electrical System: Ensure everything is up to code, especially in older homes.
  6. Leaks: Check all plumbing fixtures and the crawl space for dryness.
  7. Foundation and Structure: Especially in older or historical homes, be vigilant about potential foundational or structural problems.

Realistic Expectations from Negotiations

If essential repairs are identified, and the seller was previously unaware, negotiating repair credits or fixes is reasonable. However, managing expectations is key, particularly if aesthetic or non-urgent repairs are desired. It’s also worth considering a home warranty to cover future issues.  Another thing to keep in mind is the age of the house.  Older homes may have older plumbing and electrical.  If the inspection doesn’t find they are in disrepair, it would often be considered unreasonable to ask the seller to upgrade them to modern code or standards. Most likely the fact that they are original, may be factored into the sales price.

The Truth About New Construction

New homes can have their own set of problems. Even high-end new constructions can face issues like poor drywall work or electrical malfunctions. It’s crucial to engage a reputable home inspector familiar with new constructions to ensure thorough scrutiny.  It’s also more common in new construction to ask for cosmetic repairs i.e. paint touch ups, drywall scrapes, cabinet scratches, etc. Having a conversaton with your inspector before the inspection on your expectations is important so that aesthetic repairs are also caught and noted on the inspection report so that the builder can get their subs in to repair quicly, before the closing date.


Choosing the right real estate agent and home inspector is crucial. Your agent should understand local market trends, and necessary inspections, and have a reliable network of contractors to assess any issues. A competent inspector can offer invaluable insights into the home’s condition, helping you make informed decisions.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in the Boise area, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable and experienced realtor who can guide you through the complexities of the real estate market. For expert advice and dedicated service, feel free to reach out to me for all your real estate needs.



Boise Real Estate ProfessionalFor expert guidance on preparing your home to sell or if you are considering moving to Boise, contact Jennifer Louis, a Boise real estate and relocation expert. Set up a time for a consultation here.  In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or

Meet The Author

Jennifer Louis

Residential Real Estate Expert

Jennifer Louis, Boise Area Real Estate Expert is a relocation specialist for Boise and the Treasure Valley. Helping hundreds succeed in finding their perfect home while simultaneously assisting homeowners to prepare and sell their homes.

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