Almost all real estate agents will recommend to a buyer that they hire a licensed home inspector to thoroghly investigate the property they intend to purchase. However not all buyers elect to have one completed. But seeing as your purchase is one of the largest investments you will ever make, why not spend a little extra money to ensure your investment is a sound one. The home inspector will look at the plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, appliances, roof, exterior, interior, and the basement.
New Construction Inspection – most buyers do not realize that even when buying a new home, it is extremely important to continually have a licensed inspector monitor the construction process. Sadly, with the rapid growth and expansion of new developments, sometimes the need to build the house quickly takes precedent over the quality of construction. Do not feel intimidated by the builder when he tries to tell you a home inspection is not needed…at most be even more cautious. It is your right .
Buyer’s Property Inspection – the most common inspection used when purchasing residential, commercial, or condominium properties. Take a few recommendations on local inspectors from your real estate agent. By hiring a licensed inspector, you can have peace of mind from his findings that you did everything possible in making a good decision on your purchase. Also, make sure you attend the inspection. He will point out any areas of concern and answer questions you might have about the home. Copies of the report will be given to you, your real estate agent, and the seller, with negotiations on any repairs to follow.
Truth-in-Housing Inspection– also known as Point-of-Sale or Code Compliance Inspections, these inspections are required by some cities, in addition to a buyer’s home inspection. The main purpose of the inspection is to identify any code violations or hazards and to make sure the minimum building standards are being met. It is not an in-depth report into warranted items. Check with your real estate agent if the municipality you are purchasing requires this inspection.
Mold Inspection – one of the most mis-understood inspections available. It is your right to have a mold inspection performed on your future home, especially if it is an older home and has a basement. Many owners have converted their basements to livable space and might have unknowingly covered up mold that could be dangerous to your health.
If you would like more information on mold, please visit the EPA mold brochure at: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/moldguide.html
Important Notice : Inspection Report Not A Repair List For Seller
Your home inspector does a thorough job and has noted some serious or not so serious problems with the property. But the seller refuses to fix anything. Is the seller responsible to make these repairs? Were you under the impression that the sellers must repair the problems discovered by home inspectors?
This is a common misunderstanding about the purpose of a home inspection. People often view an inspection report as a mandatory repair list for the seller. The fact is sellers are not required to produce a flawless house. They have no such obligation by law or by contract.
With a home inspection, most repairs are subject to negotiation between the parties of a sale. Typically, buyers will request that various conditions be repaired before the close of escrow, and sellers will usually ok some of these demands. But with most building defects, sellers make repairs as a matter of choice, not obligation; to foster good will or to facilitate consummation of the sale. There are, of course, those few rigid sellers who will flatly refuse to fix anything, even at the risk of losing the sale. Fortunately, this response is the exception, rather than the rule.
Sellers maintain the legal right to refuse repair demands, except where requirements are set forth by state law, local ordinance, or the real estate purchase contract. Contracts usually stipulate that fixtures be in working condition at the close of escrow, that windows not be broken, and that there be no existing leaks in the roof or plumbing.
Before you make any demands of the seller, try to evaluate the inspection report with an eye toward problems of greatest significance. Look for conditions which compromise health and safety or involve active leakage. Most sellers will address problems affecting sensitive areas such as the roof, fireplace, gas burning fixtures, or electrical wiring.
Routine maintenance items warrant a lesser degree of concern and should not be pressed upon the seller. If the house is not brand new, it is unreasonable to boldly insist upon correction of all defects. Such demands can alienate the seller and kill the sale. Your willingness to accept minor problems may persuade a seller to correct conditions of greater substance.
The purpose of a home inspection is not to corner the seller with a repair list. The primary objective is to know what you are buying before you buy it. All homes have defects; it’s not possible to acquire one that is perfect. What you want is a working knowledge of significant defects before you close escrow. As the old sea captain once told me: ‘It doesn’t matter if your boat has a leak, as long as you know it’s leaking.