Don’t Judge a House By Its Cover
You fell in love with the great features of the house like an amazing kitchen, the yard, or the neighborhood. It’s time for a reality check. There can be costly issues hidden to the home buyer. Problems with the structure, plumbing, or electrical may not be visible during your showing. Home inspectors are trained to look for all the issues, both large and small.
Research your chosen home like you would any major purchase. Check with neighbors, homeowners associations, and even the crime statistics for the area. The more you know the fewer surprises there will be down the road. Seller’s disclosure statements rarely provide much information. Some sellers may not be aware of the condition of mechanical equipment and defects. Or they may have fixed something and not remember it. DIY projects may work for the seller, but not be done correctly or safely.
Safety Is a Choice You Make
A home inspection can detect safety issues and make recommendations for improvements. How houses are constructed changes over time as we seek to raise the standard of safety in the building trades. Health, life, and safety codes apply to all homes regardless of when it was built. Newer codes may only apply to newly built homes. Your home inspector knows what to look for and how to advise you. For instance Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter receptacles are required within 6 feet of a sink in kitchens and bathrooms, in the garage, and on the exterior. GFCI receptacles prevent shock by shutting off electrical current in one-fortieth of a second.
Everything Is Negotiable
Home inspections can help buyers figure how much money or time they are willing to spend to bring the home to their standards of comfort. It also gives the opportunity for the home buyer to ask for repairs to be done or for a credit on the cost. The seller is not obligated to repair issues or lower their cost. Still, solid facts about the home’s condition give you bargaining power.
Cover Your Bases
Some insurance companies will not cover a home if certain conditions are found. They may require that repairs are completed by a certain time. An example would be a worn roof that might not currently leak, but needs to be replaced. Since that is an expensive repair and the cost of future repairs once it does leak can be considerably more, companies might refuse to insure the house until the replacement has been completed.
Knowledge Is Half the Battle
A quality home inspection reveals critical information about the home and its systems. This makes the buyer aware of what repairs, costs, and maintenance the house might require immediately and in the future. You should use the home inspection to understand the nuances of the most expensive purchase you ever make. It can help you to prioritize what needs to be repaired first.
Learn to Protect Your Investment
The home inspector is a valuable educational resource. He can tell you the reason an item needs to be fixed. He inspects for foundation issues and for the drainage of water that often causes problems for the foundation. Does the yard slope away from the house or toward the house creating a moat around it? He can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home and, ultimately, save you thousands of dollars in the long term.
When You Consider the Cost Is Less Than 1% of the Price of Your Home, a Quality Inspection Is a Bargain!