Here are just a few examples of what to expect during your home inspection and an understanding of the process.
INSPECTIONS ARE AN OPTION, NOT A MUST: However, inspections are a pretty good way to ensure peace of mind. They give you an idea of what problems the home may have before buying it, and it gives you the option to negotiate with the seller to cover the costs of some potentially expensive repairs if needed. You will soon know after the inspection if this is the house for you, or not.
Here are some possible exceptions, and mainly affect condos and other situations where the majority of home maintenance is covered by an association, such as HOA fees. Make sure you understand and are aware of your responsibility when it comes to fixing problems that arise when you own property. Your bank may also have some say in this, so make sure they don’t require a home inspection as a condition of the mortgage.
HOMEBUYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR INSPECTIONS: You must agree to hire the home inspector, complete the inspections within a time frame and pay for it. Be sure to leave yourself time to pick a good real estate inspector and bring them out to view the property. While this may seem to be a just another added cost, think of it like this, the home inspector works for you, the buyer, not the seller. They will point out all the potential problems in the home and possibly save you a lot of grief. If it were the other way around, the seller and the inspector could work together, producing a false report.
CHOOSE A CERTIFIED AND REPUTABLE INSPECTOR: Home inspectors are specifically trained and have a keen eye on how to identify problems or potential problems in and around the home. Each state has its own regulations and standards, so be sure to check with yours for full details. The home inspection must be done by a certified professional, such as HomeSpec.
WHAT ARE YOU COVERED FOR? Home inspectors work in much the same way as a doctor does. They are checking for the overall health of your home and any potential problem areas before purchase. These inspections may vary, depending on what type of property you are buying, but the American Society of Home Inspectors recommends that qualified inspectors check some of the following areas:
- Foundation and basement
- Structural areas
- Interior plumbing
- Interior electrical
- Heating and cooling systems such as HVAC
- Doors and frames
- Floors, walls, ceilings, attics, crawl spaces
- Toxic substances
- Water damage
ITEMS YOU MAY NOT BE COVERED FOR: One of the most important items that you should remember as far as what to expect during a home inspection is that home inspectors have regulations and guidelines to follow so some items around your home may not be included in the inspection. This is another reason why it is good to walk around with the inspector and ask questions.
- They cannot touch structural areas if it means that damage could ensue – no opening the walls to check for knob and tube wiring.
- They are discouraged from giving details about the life expectancy of the roof, or disturbing insulation.
- Usually, storage sheds, pools and tennis courts are not part of the inspection.
- The quality of water, or how much water is located at your property is not a traditional aspect of the inspection process.
- Neither is erosion around the home included.
ATTEND THE INSPECTION: Most home inspectors recommend that buyers attend their property inspection so they can see for themselves the condition of the home, as well as ask questions and voice their concerns about the property. This is a great way to stay on the same page with all parties involved when finalizing the sale of your property. The inspector is not responsible, however, for making any repairs, so keep that in mind, but perhaps they can make recommendations.
ASK FOR A REPORT ON THE INSPECTION: After the home inspector does a thorough home inspection, they are required to provide you with an official report. This will detail their concerns whether good, bad, or general, in writing. It will include pictures of any damage as well as documentation and a seal of approval. Your real estate agent should also receive the report automatically. Be sure to make copies and file them. Ensure that you read over everything thoroughly before you sit down to negotiate repairs, and ask questions if there is a portion of the report that you don’t understand.
IF IT’S NOT RIGHT, WALK AWAY FROM IT: If you have found something in the inspection that you just can't seem to come to terms with, and there are no negotiations you can agree on with the seller, just walk away. Luckily, buyers have the rights in this situation. As long as you respond to the seller within the timeframe that was decided on and you have a good reason for backing out, you will likely be able to walk away from the transaction. The sellers may keep your initial deposit as collateral, however. Just remember that once you sign your name on the dotted line for the inspection, you CAN back away, but could face legal action, so be certain you understand what you are signing!
COMPLETE REPAIRS: At this point, the negotiations are almost complete, so do not make the mistake of hiring a friend or neighbor to perform repairs, as that would not be a good decision at this point. The reason being, you will need estimates from professionals and most importantly receipts for proof. Without documentation, mortgage companies and title companies can forego the deed to your new property. It is also a great idea to hang onto those receipts for at least the time of the guarantee in case something should break down a second time or need a service call.
Purchasing a home, whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned pro, can be stressful. But if you know what to expect during a home inspection, it will make life a lot easier and the process more enjoyable. Let HomeSpec help and complete your home inspection from start to finish. We are a leader in the field of home inspections and always have your best interest at heart. Contact us today!