Diary of a First Time Homebuyer: The Inspection and Repairs


The Diary of a First Time Homebuyer When the sellers accepted my offer, my realtor also asked me to think about who I wanted to do the inspection. She had a couple of referrals that she could give me, or I could use my own. J bought a house last year and really liked and trusted his inspector. I trust J’s opinion on these things so I figured I would see if he was available as well.

The next morning, my realtor called and explained how the process would work. I would call the inspector of my choosing and see when they were available. Per our offer paperwork, I had three days to do this. If you’re in the home buying process, make sure to read your offer paperwork and keep a copy handy! That copy can be in paper form or electronically, whatever works best for you. It’s been so helpful to read through it and see how the timelines work and get an idea of what happens next.

I called J’s inspector when I had a break at work, around 9:30 AM. He answered quickly and was available at 5:00 that night! I was super impressed, especially because his office is actually pretty far from the home I put an offer on. He told me to check with my realtor and make sure she was available. I sent her and J both a message to see if they could be there with me. My realtor couldn’t, but promptly found a back-up realtor who was available, and J immediately replied that he’d be there.

The Diary of a First Time Homebuyer: The Inspection and Repairs

I wanted J there as a second set of eyes and ears. Since he went through this process not too long ago, I knew he could help me understand what happened next, and help me hold a tape measurer to measure the rooms. Luckily, he also owns a tape measurer because the only ones I have are 1) hard to use, and 2) for sewing. He also brought a powerful flashlight to checkout the nooks and crannies. My realtor also strongly recommended a Site Sewer inspection and that inspector showed up at 5:00 as well. I couldn’t believe it! Who knew you could coordinate the schedules of 5 adults with 7 hours notice?!

The Diary of a First Time Homebuyer: The Inspection and Repairs

The inspector strongly suggested that we bring a snack because it could take a couple of hours. I brought one, but he brought us kettle corn too. J was stoked. Kettle corn is his favorite.

Luckily J also brought one of his fancy flashlights. The inspector told me he will give me a detailed, written report but I still brought paper and a pen so that I could take notes. I knew that I wanted to be able to remember the most important elements of the inspection and not be overwhelmed by a giant report. Plus, he was so great in telling me what little fixes he suggested to improve the home value and make my living experience better and I wanted to remember which tips those were.

Plus, having paper helped me write down the dimensions of the rooms so that I can make sure my furniture will fit in certain places and I can start keeping an eye on rugs, tables, etc. so that if I do get this house, I will have an idea of my budget for furnishings! Ah!

The Diary of a First Time Homebuyer: The Inspection and Repairs

The inspector gave back the report the very next morning. It was super cool to read (even though it was a little intimidating). Then, at lunch today, my realtor and I had a phone conference to discuss what repairs we’d ask the seller to make. What an intense decision to make!

Obviously, you can’t ask them to repair EVERYTHING. First, the house is 100 years old. Second, negotiations require a give and take. You can’t ask for someone to repair everything. They’d laugh in your face! So I came up with my top 9 most important fixes and we sent that over.

The Diary of a First Time Homebuyer: The Inspection and Repairs

Now, I just have to wait and see what they’re willing to fix. It’s so nerve wracking! What if they say “no way!” or what if I picked the wrong priorities to repair?! What if they agree to repair it and then, in order to maximize their profits, do a half assed job or get a cheaper repairman?

Now we wait. This is proving harder than scheduling the inspector and doing the inspection! It’s out of my hands so all I can do is sit and try to focus on work, this blog, going to barre or hanging with J. It’s taking so much self control to not just stare at my phone waiting to hear back from my realtor. Ahh!!

Fingers crossed that they’ll at least fix the really, really, really important things. Gah!

Previous Story
Next Story


  • Reply
    Jessica @ Pleas(e) & Carrots
    December 10, 2015 at 6:41 am

    We were lucky when we bought our house because my father in law is a contractor and builds/repairs houses for a living so he did our inspection for free, plus we knew he actually cared about us and the house. Good luck with the negotiations!
    Jessica @ Pleas(e) & Carrots recently posted…Wedding Wednesday- Reception, Part 1

    • Reply
      December 14, 2015 at 7:00 am

      Oh gosh, that’s so lucky!! My dad works in construction as well but he lives out of state.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Your realtor can also try to get the seller to just give you a repair allowance (I believe you can request up to $1,000, as long as the inspector found necessary repairs totaling at least that mount), instead of fixing things themselves. If your realtor pitches it right, he/she can hopefully get the seller to agree that for convenience sake it’s easier for them to just give you the money rather than coordinating all the repairs themselves. Then you can make sure it’s done right. ;)

    We tried this, it did not work, hah. They went ahead and did some repairs themselves, and gave us a little money for the ones they ran out of time and didn’t get to. But it’s worth a shot, if you want to make sure its done right. :)

    • Reply
      December 14, 2015 at 7:00 am

      Yes, this is definitely an option! Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Why My Dishwasher Wouldn't Drain: Diary of a First Time Homeowner - Where My Soul Belongs
    April 14, 2016 at 10:49 am

    […] that when I got my 100 page, AMAZING, inspection report back and had a long chat with my realtor, I forgot to put the dishwasher on the list. When I moved in, there were many huge priorities that […]

  • Reply
    The Diary of a First-Time Homebuyer Round-Up - Where My Soul Belongs
    May 31, 2016 at 7:15 am

    […] 7. The Inspection and Repairs […]

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge