Home inspections: Why You Need One

Home inspectionsHome inspectors evaluate the condition of a recently sold home; an offer is accepted, and both parties have signed, hoping the deal will close. Naturally, you “inspected” the home in a small way during the process of deciding to purchase it. Responsible realtors will strongly suggest that you order a home inspection before closing. The home inspection is very thorough, and involves making sure the place is structurally sound.

What a Home Inspection is

Besides being a likely requirement for closing a real estate sale, a home inspection is a thorough examination of the property’s structures, and mechanicals. A good inspection report tells you what needs repair, or replacement. The inspection is a great way for you, the buyer, to become deeply acquainted with the home. You will know what repairs are recent. The report will let you know if anything is blatantly out of code.

Why a Home Inspection is Important

The home inspection is protection for the buyer. If something about the property is not up to standard, the buyer can make fixing it a condition of the sale. The inspection addresses issues that need repair. Eventually, someone will face making those repairs. Many first-time homebuyer loan programs require an inspection; some even specify what the inspection will include.

Value Provided by a Home Inspection

The value for the buyer is the peace of mind. The seller also comes out with something; he gets concrete proof that his home is sound. If the sale falls through, due to a problem discovered in the inspection, repairs occur right away, so that it doesn’t become an issue next time.

How You Can Use the Inspection Report at the Negotiating Table

The report helps buyers get closer to the price originally offered. Imagine you are a heating and air conditioning technician. The inspection shows the heat exchanger is bad. The only logical solution is to replace the entire system. A buyer like you can save both parties some time and money. You negotiate the price down by the amount necessary to replace the unit, and do the work yourself for much less. You get a better price, and the seller gets a hassle-free closing. That can be worth a lot to a seller planning to close as a buyer on another property. A different buyer in the same situation would have also insisted on the upgrade; however, it would have put the closing date at risk. The cost would have come out of the seller proceeds either way; the fact that you save money does not affect the seller.

What a Good Inspection Covers

A home inspection reports the condition of the basement. Inspectors look for cracks, and bulges in basement walls. Signs of flooding are a part of the report as well. The inspection covers the roof. The report reveals problems with the roof, such as, missing or damaged shingles, leaks, and damaged gutters. The report should include an estimate of the remaining life of the roof. The heating system inspection covers damage, and excessive wear. Inspectors check the efficiency of the unit also. The report covers clogged or damaged coils, blower condition, duct condition and efficiency, and the thermostat. Other detailed mechanical inspections include:

    • Water heater
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical

Finally, inspectors check the structural soundness of the property. Sagging, or misshapen rooflines, detached gutters, missing handrails, and the condition of the stairs, would all appear in the report.

What a Home Inspection Does Not Cover

Wood destroying organisms, as the name suggests, destroy wood by consuming it. These include termites, ants, and fungi. Your realtor will recommend this inspection. The same person inspecting for termites and ants can also check for vermin and rodents. Other inspections to order, besides the home inspection, are:

    • Mold, mildew, and fungi
    • Radon
    • Lead

Mold, mildew, and fungi occur in any environment that stays damp and dark. The home inspection report may reveal circumstances that lead buyers to order a mold inspection. Radon is an invisible, odorless gas believed to cause lung cancer. A radon inspection measures the level of radon gas in the home. Lead-based paint has been out of use for a long time; however, if there is peeling paint, you may want a lead inspection. Lead in the home can cause learning disabilities in children.

Your home may be the biggest investment you ever make. It shelters you, and your loved ones from the world; it is your sanctuary. Before you become the owner, find out what condition it is really in.

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