uying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written report, a checklist, photographs, environmental reports, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this, combined with the seller's disclosure and what you notice yourself, makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do?
Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies for various systems and components, and minor imperfections. These are useful to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
1. major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure;
2. things that lead to major defects, such as a small roof-flashing leak, for example;
3. things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home;
4. safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electrical panel.Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often, a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items.
Be ahead of the game by knowing what needs to be repaired and what needs just a little attention before you list your home. You may decide to do the repair work before putting it on the market if it proves to be more beneficial to the sale price. This information will give you confidence in the defining and negotiating the sale price of your home.
Even when a home has just been built, it's a good idea to have a home inspection. The building inspector is required to look for code violations. Our home inspection will ensure the components all work as they were intended. And we will also provide a "punch" list for the contractor prior to you getting into the home.
It is essential that you know the condition of the home before you purchase it. Being informed of major repair issues or simple maintenance issues will help you understand the value of the home, giving you confidence in negotiating the best price and making the best decisions.