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The purpose of an inspection is to verify the condition of the home and to allow the buyer to make informed decisions.
Even with newly constructed homes and with condominiums, it is possible that something could have been overlooked, is not working or does not conform to code.
As your agent, we will suggest that you hire a licensed home inspector if the property is being sold as is, on existing homes and new construction in the pre-drywall stage.
This is the best thing you could spend money on. Who knows the condition of a house without first getting a full point by point home inspection done on it.
An inspection will typically take 3-4 hours (or more) depending on the size and complexity of the property.
The seller is typically not at the home inspection, so it's a great time to get any measurements you need for specific furniture and appliances. Most home inspectors have a 48 hour turnaround on their reports, complete with pictures and full explanations of any issues that they find.
As home buyers, you could hire a team of specialists-electricians, plumber, HVAC guys, etc.- and pay each to individually inspect the house or hire one generalist with the expertise to say what
deficiencies exist and recommend further evaluation when needed. This is the route most people take.
Home inspectors are licensed to do their job and can give you a very good look at the condition of your up and coming new home.
A home inspection is a visual observation and report of the readily accessible and main components of a property.
The report should be objective and unbiased and literally be the same whether a buyer or a seller orders it from the inspector.
Professional inspectors follow a form that checks all of the systems, structure, and functionality of everything in the home. This includes the roof, the foundation, plumbing, electrical, structural, appliances, and HVAC to make sure the buyer has no bad surprises in terms of major repairs or replacements after the purchase. Consider them generalists in terms of the health of a house.
If they feel that a specialist is required, such as a roof, foundation or engineering question, they will recommend that you follow up with that particular trade specialist.
The home inspector (usually hired and paid for by the buyer of the home) inspects his client's potential home from top to bottom. As the buyer, you might want to show up for the latter part of the inspection as to be able to ask any questions and have any issues pointed out to you in person.
Home inspection reports are very useful in providing a primer for maintenance, repairs and improvements that can be followed for years as well as highlighting structural and safety issues that
may need immediate attention.
Most inspectors send out (via email) written reports, complete with specific details on the house as well as any pictures on issues they may have found that need tending to.
Outside of a typical home inspection, you may want to test for radon, termites and sometimes mold. If a well or septic system exists, then those inspections should be done as well.
The inspection you want for new construction will make sure they are building to code and then the final inspection will be similar to a standard inspection.
It's common for the buyer to request repairs or credit for an amount sufficient to cover the repairs from the seller or builder of the house.
Home buyers generally use the reports to get specific items fixed prior to closing. The pictures within the report help identify the proposed items in need of repair and leave little to speculation.
Your contract should have time constraints on the home inspection which will dictate when you need your home inspections completed by as well as the time frame that the seller would need to respond to any repair requests that you may have.
If the inspection is bad enough, you may not want to go any further with this contract, so it is imperative to keep an eye on the time frame.
The sellers will need a little time to make appointments with contractors to get quotes, as to determine what they are willing to repair (or not) per your written repair request.
Some sellers may wish to avoid dealing with contractors and offer you a dollar amount they are willing to pay you at closing so that you can take care of any desired repairs when the house is your own.
No one likes bad news, however it is always better to communicate any negative information in a positive setting while everyone has a chance to absorb and ask questions early on.
Communication is the key in the home inspection process. Ask questions, don't be nervous, and if something is not clear, ask for more information.
A good home inspector will take the time to
talk with you to ensure your understanding about your home inspection.
It's just a matter of assessing the problem and finding a solution that is agreeable to all parties.