Home inspections are an important part of buying a home. The house may look perfect at first glance, but you need to know if it’s a money pit waiting to zap your bank account. A closer look at the foundation protects you from unrecognized structural issues.
Your Right to an Inspection
Due to real estate laws, you have the right to get any property inspected before signing on the dotted line and handing over your hard-earned cash. Keep in mind that the seller doesn’t have to tell you anything, positive or negative, about the property.
Many sellers are upfront about major issues, recent updates, and weather-related events like flooding. Sellers are required by law to let you know if the home has any issues with dangerous elements like mold or lead paint.
Sellers may be kind enough to alert you to any problems with the property, but they might not know everything there is to disclose. There could be deeper problems with the roof or foundation that they aren’t aware of at the time of the sale. It’s important to heed the buyer beware warning and have a home inspection completed.
The Home Inspection Process
You found the home of your dreams, placed the offer, and signed the contract. Typically, a professional home inspector arrives within 2-weeks. The inspector spends several hours checking the property for problems.
The inspector walks through the home looking for difficulties with the structure and systems. They open doors, cabinets, and closets. If the washing machine is going with the property, the inspector may run through a cycle. They check cooling and heating systems. They turn on faucets and check drains in sinks, tubs, and showers. Additional charges may apply for mold or radon testing.
The inspector is there to make sure there are no problems with the property. He is not the one who determines if the home is worth the selling price. For this reason, he is most concerned with the structural safety and working condition of any systems and appliances. Expect notes on the foundation, windows, floors, plumbing, roof, attic, basement, doors, insulation, and exterior structures. He will also make notes on heating, electrical, and air systems.
What About Problems?
Expect the home inspector’s report to be lengthy and comprehensive, especially if there are problems. This written report comes with photographs of any problem areas. He will describe the issue in detail and let you know if the problems need immediate attention. There are times when additional inspections are necessary and noted in the report.
The inspector is there to make sure your home purchase proceeds with the full knowledge of any problems. For this reason, you’ll receive the report first. In most cases, the seller isn’t notified of what is found during the inspection until the buyer has their report.
Your Home Inspection Contingencies
It’s common for the contact to include one or more contingencies related to the home inspection. They protect you if problems arise during the investigation that impacts the sale. Contingencies include the ability to move forward with full knowledge of the report, cancel the contract, request repairs before closing, ask for a price adjustment instead of repairs, and extend the time frame for the completion of more inspections.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give KAD and Co. Signature Properties a call today at 484-234-2341 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.