If you’re at the point of having a home inspection done, Congratulations! You’re that much closer to getting your dream home! But, as with any of the steps to purchasing your home, there are key points to address and understand. The following are items you’ll want addressed before settlement:
•Know that the home inspector is going to look at everything in the house. Top to bottom and inside & out. Roofs, window seals, appliances, hot water heaters & furnaces and everything in between. A home inspector will look to make sure every item in the house is in working order.
•You should plan to attend the home inspection so that the inspector can explain how your soon-to-be new home works. The inspector also provides information of how the mechanicals in the home work. This is as much a time to learn where shut off valves are located as it is to whether they work properly. Suggestions are made for the general care & maintenance of the house and its mechanicals.
•Not everything is broken or will be broken. Inspectors will note in their report, the typical life expectancy of various units throughout the house, such as the HVAC units or the age of the hot water heater. Some inspectors will suggest budgeting money for maintenance or replacement-in the future. This does not necessarily mean they need replacing right now.
•There may be items that are in need of repair or replacement. In the event there are items in the house that are in need of repair, you’ll have your realtor present a repair request letter to the Seller’s agent. Cosmetic changes are not going to be addressed. But, heating/AC, plumbing & electrical systems absolutely must be in working order prior to settlement. In addition, structural issues, roof & flashings, water penetration, windows, doors, fireplaces & chimneys, mold and radon issues must all be in working order and/remediated before your closing.
•Radon & Termite Inspections. It’s a good idea to schedule a termite and wood boring insect inspection at the same time as the home inspection. Also, if the house has a basement, make sure to have a radon test done, too.
These are just some of the items that may arise during your home inspection, but there may be other issues you need to consider, such as a pool inspection. This is why it’s a good thing to consult with your realtor and go over everything so that you understand what’s going on and how to address things if need be.
And, even if you are considering a short sale or foreclosure and the Seller won’t do repairs, you still have the opportunity to do a home inspection and should. It’s best to know what you are fully getting into and budget accordingly.