It's tempting to think that you're a homeowner the moment you go into escrow, but not so fast – before you close on the sale, you need to know what kind of shape the house is in. You don't want to get stuck with a money pit or with the headache of performing a
lot of unexpected repairs. Keeping your feelings in check until you have a full picture of the house's physical condition and the soundness of your potential investment will help you avoid making a serious financial mistake.
What does a home inspection include?
The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the
foundation, basement and structural components.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may
identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
1. It Provides an Out
A quality home inspection can reveal critical information about the condition of a home and its systems. This makes the buyer aware of what costs, repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately, and over time. If a buyer isn't comfortable with the findings of the home inspection, it usually presents one last opportunity to back out of the offer to buy. This step is important when purchasing a property because it may save you thousands.
A home inspection can detect safety issues like radon, carbon monoxide, and mold, which all homes should be tested for. Make sure that your home-buying contract states that should such hazards be detected, you have the option to cancel the offer to buy.
3. Reveal Illegal Additions or Installations
A home inspection can reveal whether rooms, altered garages or basements were completed without a proper permit, or did not follow code, according to Chantay Bridges of Clear Choice Realty & Associates. "If a house has illegal room additions
that are un-permitted, it affects the insurance, taxes, usability and most of all the overall value. In essence, a buyer is purchasing something that legally does not exist; she explains. Even new homes with systems that were not installed to code
will become the new homeowners' financial "problem" to fix (and finance). (The home for sale/purchase must pass inspection.
Home inspections are even more critical if you are buying an as-is; foreclosed property or short sale. Dwellings that have been boarded often develop hazardous mold problems, which are costly to remedy and pose health concerns. Greg Haskett, VP of shared services at Home Team Inspection Service says it's common for home inspectors to find that copper plumbing lines and outdoor compressors
have been removed from foreclosed properties by people trying to sell copper to recyclers for money.
5. Negotiating Tool
Realtor Jennifer De Vivo of Orlando-based De Vivo Realty says the home inspection report presents an opportunity to ask for repairs and/or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. Work with your realtor to understand what requests can and should be made to negotiate a better deal.
6. Forecast Future Costs
A home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems in the home like plumbing, heating and cooling, and critical equipment like water heaters. They can diagnose the current condition of the structure itself, and tell you how long finishes have been in the home. All components in the home have a shelf-life; Understanding when they require replacement can help you make
important budgeting decisions, and it will determine what type of home insurance coverage or warranties you should consider.
7. Determine Deal-Breakers
De Vivo suggests that home inspections can help buyers identify how much additional money or effort they are willing and able to spend to take the home to a condition that is personally acceptable. If you are unwilling to repair issues like faulty gutters, cracked walls or ceilings, perhaps you are not ready to end your home buying search.
8. Learn to Protect Your Investment
The home inspector is a valuable educational resource. He or she can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home, and ultimately save you thousands of dollars in the long term, according to De Vivo.
9. Reveal the Big Picture
Haskett advises that people use the home inspection to understand the nuances of what may be the biggest purchase they ever make. People fall in love with a piece of property based on the color of the walls, the location of the home, or something else; they are completely blind to the issues that can make that dream home a nightmare," he says.
Some insurance companies will not insure a home if certain conditions are found, or without the presence of certifications like Wind Mitigation and four-point inspections, according to Haskett. "Qualified home inspectors can do these things at the same time as their other services and save the home buyer time and money in the long run.
The Bottom Line
It is your responsibility to understand as many details as you can about the property you may soon call home. Home inspections reveal the inner workings of the property, allowing you to be informed of all the perks and pitfalls the home has to offer.
Our mission at Sandhill’s Luxury Homes is to provide you with superior service and satisfaction during your home search as well as to build a lasting relationship with our clients that may lead to future sales. We believe client satisfaction is our best advertising. Check out below feedback we've received from our clients:
"We needed to sell fast and wanted the best so we called Dale. Our house sold quickly which we know is not always the case. We wanted an agent who had knowledge, energy and was professional. We got it all with Dale! Thank you!"
"A pleasure to work with Dale Heck. I tried working with another agent before I met Dale but I was unhappy with their knowledge of the Pinehurst area. Dale was able to quickly find the best area and home that met my needs."
"What a great experience."
"A very attentive Realtor who knows the business! Dale can help with all of your Pinehurst Real Estate and Fort Bragg Real Estate needs!"
As a result we are providing a $200 credit for home inspections for our clients. Buyer home inspections are important to avoid the potentially costly mistake by purchasing a property in need of major and minor repairs. Even if you think you found a “dream home,” a professional home inspection will provide additional protection against unexpected repairs. This includes home interior and exterior inspections, heating system inspections, radon inspections, roofing inspections and septic inspections.
We agree with the article below that rated inspections as one of the top 10 Mistake homeowners make.
Specializing in the Finest Homes for Sale in Pinehurst, NC