During a real estate transaction, a home inspection is recommended to any Buyer who is purchasing a home whether it is a new construction or resale. Performed by a licensed home inspector it consists of a comprehensive assessment that is both visual and physical testing of the home’s systems. The purpose is to give an evaluation of the home’s current condition and to help a Buyer avoid any unexpected repairs or issues.
Here are common questions asked:
When do you get an Inspection – A home inspection is completed during your Inspection contingency period. In a standard Residential Purchase Agreement this is within 14 days of when the contract is fully executed and escrow is opened. Timeframes can always be adjusted based on the competitiveness of the market or a party’s specific needs.
What’s included in the scope
Each home is going to vary depending on its age, condition, size, etc. A home inspector will spend time walking the exterior premises to see if there are any signs of foundation, settling, water or cracking issues. They will also advise on the condition of the roof and if they recommend hiring a licensed roofer for further examination. On the interior of the home you can expect that they will go through each room checking windows, flooring, walls, fixtures, appliances and systems to see if there are signs of any malfunctions, defects, or any minor and major issues.
Here is a list of major issues that may be cause for concern to anyone buying:
Electrical problems – Most common is when wiring is not up to code, if there are frayed wires, or improperly wired electrical panels
Plumbing issues – Leaks, apparent or potential water damage, failing water heater, or problems with the sewer system
Foundation – large cracks in the foundation or signs of unusual settlement. These issues can be extremely costly to repair but can also be life threatening overtime if left unattended to.
Mold – Another potentially hazardous issue is mold. Very common in more humid and wet climates, but typically result from water damages. A licensed specialist should be brought out to assess if there is any sign immediately.
Other potential major issues can be in chimneys, roof, asbestos or termites. If an inspection calls out any potential issue that they recommend having a licensed specialist to evaluate, we highly recommend you do so.
The Home Inspector will provide an extensive report along with a summary that outlines their findings and their recommendations. This report should be reviewed with your Broker to decide on how best to proceed with the purchase and if there is cause for a request for repairs to the Seller to either credit or repair the major issues prior to close of escrow.
A home inspection isn’t intended to scare a buyer off from buying a home, but really to ensure that they are buying a sound property and paying a fair price for it. No one wants to move into the home of their dreams and then find out they have major costly surprises that can become dangerous over time. Knowledge is Power.