Sometimes the seller are just not aware enough. Even if he has provided full disclosure of the house’ physical status, a thorough home inspection will give you a clear picture of what you are purchasing for.

Getting a credible home inspection done is just as important as preparing for home financing. Regardless of the market weather is in the property area, we strongly encourage you to include home inspection costs among the contingencies in your offer to purchase. How you would put it into writing depends on every state; ask your real estate agent or broker to help you out with that. The contract should specify what kind of inspection should be done, the cost (around $200-400 range) and who should pay for it.

What if the inspector finds any defect that was not included in the disclosure?

You can stipulate on the contract some clause that will oblige the seller to have any undisclosed defects repaired or renegotiate on the purchase price based on the repair costs. You can also use those issues as grounds for withdrawing your offer safely, without breaking the contract.  Just remember that the seller also has the call not to repair any undisclosed defects and can even refuse one if anything arises from the home inspection report.  So in order for the sale to push through, both parties should negotiate how the defects can be rectified and who would be willing to shoulder them.

What to look for in a professional home inspector?

Get someone with a ASHI certification and with a background in general construction -rather than someone who just focuses on electrical or plumbing only. Each house is like a new learning experience for an inspector, so you can also ask him as to how many inspections he so far does in a year.

Depending on the size of the home, an inspection round may take 2-4 hours. Accompany the inspector during one of these rounds and feel free to ask questions. A credible inspector should be able to explain issues in the house objectively; and not just give you some “pass-fail” feedback. He also must be able to make sound recommendation on serious defects that needs to be repaired. It will also noteworthy to check if the inspector has Errors and Omissions Insurance, which protects individuals if the inspector commits a mistake or misses out something in his report, that is proved very important.

What should be inspected in a home?

  • General inspection- Gets a sound report on the general aspects of the house: foundation, exteriors, roofing, appliances, kitchen, bathroom, ceiling and heating. Depending on the outcome of the inspection, he may recommend if you will be needing more specific reports.

  • Pest inspection- inspection for termites and other pests, as well as other animals like rodents which might be living in the home.

  • Specialized inspection -Depending on the inclusives of the home, details inspections on plumbing, electrical, septic tank and gas can be done.

  • Radon testing- Radon is a radioactive emission from the breakdown of Uranium in the soil. Ingestion or inhalation is a great risk for cancer. It is present in almost any house, just make sure that the amount stay within the safe limits.

Final walkthrough

After the inspections are done and the negotiations concerning repairs are settled, then a final walk-through is done towards the closing of the sale. This is to verify that everything in the house is in good working order as is. It means that any other issues arises after the closing of the sale, it is already the buyer’s responsibility to have it repaired. Just remember that a few hundred dollar repairs is worth the hassle than to leave it there and suffer heavier damages in the long run.


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