It’s love at first sight. You’ve found what looks like the ideal home for your tastes, needs, and budget. It’s only after you have closed that you discover all the structural, functional, or cosmetic problems you just purchased.
If you want to know what you’re buying and ensure that you pay the right price for it, you need to schedule a home inspection. Home inspections are equally necessary for newly built homes, vintage homes, custom homes, and any other kind of home you might be considering. Of course you need to start by engaging a reputable home inspector. If you’re doing this on your own instead of relying on our team for recommendations, check each candidate’s credentials with the American Society of Home Inspectors.
A comprehensive home inspection should include all the home’s major components, including the roof, attic, insulation, floors, ceilings, walls, climate control system, electrical system, plumbing system, and foundation. You’ll also want your inspector to look for potential health hazards such as toxic mold, which can cause serious respiratory problems in vulnerable individuals.
You can play an active role by being present for the inspection and asking any questions that come to mind. It is best to show up for the last 30 minutes of the inspection to give the inspector uninterrupted time to do the most thorough job. Remember – the inspector works for you, so don’t hesitate to ask the questions, i.e. – how much do you think it will cost to make this or that repair? As your Realtor, we will almost always be present with you as well. When you cannot be present, we will be there in your absence. If you think the inspector has glossed over some aspect of the inspection, bring it to his/her attention. One last tip – Make sure the seller has the utilities switched on so every system’s function can be checked properly.
If the inspection report reveals significant issues, and you are in the option period, you can negotiate to pay a reduced price and make the repairs yourself or negotiate to have the seller make any necessary repairs. If the buyer won’t budge either way, it may be time to move on to the next prospective dream home. With any luck, that dream will have a happier ending!