Don’t be that panicked caller: “Did we test for lead?! I thought we just needed bacterial!” (Spoiler alert: You probably need both.)

As a home inspector in the beautiful Upper Peninsula, I witness similar scenarios far too often. Clients eager to secure their dream home skip a crucial step: communication with their mortgage lender. This can lead to a whirlwind of last-minute testing, delays, and even closing nightmares.

So, hold off on the confetti until you ask your mortgage lender this one powerful question:

“What specific tests or inspections are required beyond a basic home inspection for my loan type and this specific property?”

Why is This Question So Vital to Ask Your Mortgage Lender? 

We need to know from the lender what the requirements are for the home inspection and any ancillary inspections that need to be done. Getting this information from your mortgage lender right away has multiple benefits.

  • It will save you time (and possibly the sale as well). Discovering surprise testing needs after the inspection wastes precious days. For example, it can take up to 14 business days to get results back from testing your water for lead. A last minute request for that much time could actually kill your deal! 
  • It will save you money.  We charge less for ancillary services scheduled at the time of the home inspection. If we have to go back, it not only costs you more, but you will have to pay double the mileage fees as well. 
  • You will avoid panic attacks. Nobody wants to scramble for additional tests just weeks or days before closing. Ask upfront and stay calm.
  • Bonus: You will impress your mortgage lender. Proactive communication shows thoroughness and responsibility, earning you brownie points for a smooth closing. It could make it easier to get your next loan, too! 

What Types of Testing or Inspections Might Your Mortgage Lender Require? 

Both you and your home inspector will be happiest if he only has to make ONE trip to inspect your home!

Remember, mortgage requirements vary based on loan type and property specifics.  FHA, VA, USDA Rural Development, and conventional loans all have different standards. Older homes, locations with potential environmental concerns, or unique features might trigger additional tests.

Common “ancillary” inspections include:

  • Water testing: This typically includes bacterial, nitrate, and lead analysis. Some lenders might also require additional testing for contaminants specific to your area. Learn more about our two types of water testing services here.
  • Septic field inspection: For homes on private wells, ensuring a functional septic system is crucial. Many home lenders require a septic inspection for this reason.
  • Foundation certification: Manufactured homes typically require a foundation certification
  • Mold testing and other specialized tests: These may be necessary depending on local risks or visible signs of potential issues. Some types of testing that your mortgage lender may require include radon testing, wood destroying organism inspection, asbestos testing, and lead testing. 

Don’t Wait for the Fire-Drill Phone Call 

As a home inspector, I need to know exactly what’s needed going into the inspection so that I can best deliver to you exactly what your mortgage lender needs the first time. 

Empower yourself with knowledge. Ask your mortgage lender the #1 question before your home inspection, and skip the drama of last-minute scrambling. By being proactive, you’ll be well on your way to a smooth, stress-free closing and a happy journey into your new Upper Peninsula home.

3 More Tips to Make Sure Your Inspections Meet Your Home Lender’s Expectations

Here are a few best practices to keep your mortgage lender happy and your closing on track: 

  1. Get everything in writing! Request a checklist of required tests from your lender and keep it on file.
  2. Ask your loan officer to check with your underwriter. Your loan officer may not realize that ancillary services are needed. The underwriter is often the one who calls the shots, so make sure you get it from the source. 
  3. Build a strong relationship with your home inspector. Discuss any concerns you have about the property and collaborate on a thorough inspection plan.

Remember, knowledge is power. When it comes to your home inspection, a little proactive communication can save you a lot of headaches down the line. So, go forth, ask that crucial question, and secure your dream home with confidence!

Need a Home Inspection? 

We’re the Upper Peninsula’s fastest growing home inspection company for good reason! Give us a call at 906-360-3879, or schedule here online