Why to Inspect a home ...
Why Get a Home Inspection?
One of the wisest moves you can make when buying a home is to have a home inspection completed by a licensed home inspector. Checking the home out thoroughly is the only way you will know for sure what to expect before you sign the paperwork and become the new owner.
Whether the home you are considering is a resale (previously occupied home) or brand new, there is always the chance that there are flaws even the Seller, Builder, or current occupant of the home, may be unaware of. Not only will the report help you learn about repairs that should be made immediately, it will give you some good clues as to what other items you may need to keep an eye on and budget for repairs or replacement in the future.
Because there are so many components of a professional home inspection, many homebuyers may be unaware of how all the mechanical, structural, and electrical systems come together and affect the overall comfort, energy efficiency, and safety of the home. For this reason, I have chosen two topics regarding home inspections that should help you choose the right inspector and guide you to understanding the process better.
Hopefully, these tips will save you some hassles, help you negotiate the best possible deal, and prevent you from making a costly mistake on your next home purchase.
Choosing an Inspector
Choose your home inspector carefully. Start by being certain that the inspector you are considering is licensed to perform home inspections. We encourage you to select your own inspector by whatever means you feel most comfortable with. However, we suggest you interview them carefully before you start. Then select your own or consider a recommendation that has established a good track record with our agency. Though all licensed inspectors must follow a state mandate for reporting there may be significant variance in the quality and individual thoroughness of each inspector.
At RE/MAX Capital City we can refer you to a list of competent home inspectors that have proven their ability to perform and stand by their findings. Since we have over 60 active agents in our company and share inspector track records with each other on our company based intranet and referral directory, we have a wide selection of reliable and qualified inspectors to refer you to.
Some companies will have guarantees if they miss anything, others may limit items they inspect, and not all inspectors will inspect all items with the same degree of expertise and experience. The price you pay for a home inspection may be worth every cent you pay but, it only makes sense to get the best your money can buy. Typically, the cost of the home inspection will be at least partially dependant on the size of the home. There may be an additional cost for items like septic systems, water wells, pools and spas, outbuildings, or any number of property features and special equipment. The cost of the inspection and the time it takes to perform will be directly related to the size and number of additional items to be inspected. The average cost of a home inspection for a property without a lot of extras typically ranges around $350.oo and will usually take the inspector 2-3 hours to complete.
If you have trouble deciding who to choose or want to know more about what to look for in a great home inspector, please let me know.
What to expect in a Report
A licensed home inspector will use a standard promulgated form as a guideline for items to inspect and to report their findings, therefore, all inspection reports will have some commonality in this regard.
Details in the report that are most important are the home's major systems and components such as the foundation, the roof covering, HVAC systems, plumbing, and Electrical. The level of detail and depth of scrutiny varies from inspector to inspector. The object of a good inspection report, however, is to detail concerns, flaws, safety issues, and/or anything else that could materially affect the property. This can be anything from major structural issues and faulty systems to small cosmetic details needing attention.
Since the purpose of the report is often two fold it is important to understand how the report can be used to your benefit in different ways. The first and probably most obvious is to notify the Buyer of any potential concerns. If there are items that are citing which did not show on the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement, this may also be an opportunity to renegotiate the contract offer and request additional repairs to be made by the Seller, an increased amount of Seller paid closing costs, and/or a reduction of the sales price in lieu of repairs.
If problems are discovered that are so severe that the Seller can not or will not repair and a compromise cannot be reached between Buyer and Seller, the report can also serve as a legitimate reason for the Buyer to terminate the contract altogether. Of course, termination of the contract must be sent in writing within the option period to be valid.
Since having clarity and understanding the findings of the report may be a critical factor in negotiations or whether or not the Buyer completes a sale, it may make sense for a Buyer to be present at the inspection to review the inspector's findings while they are fresh in his mind. I recommend that you do not spend the entire time looking over their shoulder or distracting them with questions while they are doing the inspection. The risk of being in the way is that you may distract them otherwise from what may be a very systematic procedure.
Usually, it is best to set a time with the inspector, immediately following the inspection, where the inspector can review his immediate findings and point out any special areas of concern. All qualified inspectors should be taking photographs of the property condition also and documenting their findings in the report.
Chose a qualified competent inspector
Get referrals or Ask your agent for help interviewing your choices
Report findings assure you that you are getting what you expected
Use the report to prepare and budget for future maintenance Items
If major concerns arise or are discovered in the report, use the discovery to renegotiate or terminate the offer
Document the condition of the home at the time of purchase in writing as evidentiary data to use for insurance claims or resale provenance.
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