You’ve found your dream home, and your offer was accepted; it’s time to celebrate! However, you have the dreaded home inspection looming over your head, but don’t let that get your spirits down. Here are the things every home buyer should know about inspections because the more you know about the property the better you can protect your financial investment.
Inspections Aren’t Mandatory
There are plenty of circumstances that don’t warrant a home inspection, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. Typically, if a mortgage company or lender is involved, they’ll require one, but if you are buying a property cash or purchasing a condo or apartment where the majority of the home maintenance is covered by the building or HOA, then a home inspection isn’t always required. We always suggest being cautious, and use your best judgement if you have the option to have it done or not.
The Buyer(s) Are Responsible For the Inspection
Often times buyers don’t calculate this cost into their home buying expenses, but it is their responsibility and the cost is typically incurred before closing. Also, be aware that an inspector must be licensed, and a general contractor does not have the same qualification. For help finding a certified inspector, the best place to start would most likely be your real estate agent.
What Does A Typical Home Inspection Cover?
Every property is different, so an inspection can vary slightly; however, the American Society of Home Inspectors says the following areas will be checked in a qualified home inspection:
If you have a concern about a particular area or item, ask your realtor or inspector to see if that will be examined, and if not, you can have specialty inspections done as well.
YOU SHOULD RECEIVE A INSPECTION REPORT FOLLOWING, BUT IF NOT, ALWAYS REQUEST ONE, AND KEEP IT DOCUMENTED IN CASE AN ISSUE ARISES LATER.
You Can Attend An Inspection
Buyers are more than welcome to attend the home inspection; if you have any questions on the results, the inspector can give you an in-depth answer and most likely better explain it in person than in his or her report. Be aware though, the inspector is only responsible for finding repairs not making them right. If you choose to attend your inspection, be conscious of the inspector’s time.
Repairs Are Negotiable
Once an inspection is complete, the repairs are negotiable between the buyer and seller, and this process can be creative. The sellers can perform the repairs, they can give you an allowance or credit for estimated cost, or they could end up the responsibility of the buyer. If the sellers perform the repairs, please make sure to ask and receive proper documentation that they were completed and done by a professional.
IF YOU CAN’T COME TO AGREEMENT WITH THE SELLER OVER REPAIRS OR THERE IS A LEGITIMATE CONCERN WITH THE FINDINGS OF AN INSPECTION, YOU MAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO WALK AWAY DEPENDING ON THE TERMS OF YOUR CONTRACT.