What The Process Looks Like
Almost every Purchase & Sale Agreement has a clause that allows the Buyer to make the purchase of their home subject to an inspection. Most Buyers will pay a professional Home Inspector (depending on the size of the home, this can range from $300 – $500) to review the structural integrity & condition of the home they’re buying, from the crawl space & attic, to the electrical service, appliances, and exterior. As you are going through the process, you may feel like the inspector is focusing on every little thing…and they are. Most Buyers will ask only for the main items to be repaired. The Buyers’ agent will be with the inspector during this appointment, and most often the Buyers as well. This is also an informational period where Buyers learn what they can expect by way of future maintenance and this process is highly recommended!.
Common Home Inspection Issues
Furnace Service: If the furnace has not been serviced recently (gas furnaces typically should be serviced yearly, electrical can go longer) you’ll want to ask for this to be completed to ensure proper operation.
Hot water Heater: Lack of earthquake straps or overflow plumbed outside are common recommendations of the home inspector.
Bathroom/Bathtub Caulking or evidence of leaks: Leaking toilet seals, bad grout, fan vents disconnected are very common items and your inspector can tell you if they detect moisture that might require further investigation or maybe just recommend new caulking.
Roof: Does this roof have 5 or more years or life left? If not, or if suspect, then you will want to ask the Seller for a professional roofer to provide them with a roof certification, or a new roof, or repair. This is typically negotiated during the inspection time frame.
Pests: Broken screens around crawl space vents, evidence of pests, or evidence of current or past water in the crawl space are all going to show up on the report. If there is evidence of water in the crawl space, you may want to ask the seller to have a drainage expert inspect & advise. You may need to ask for an additional professional to assess the situation to make sure the footing/foundation drains are working, install a sump pump, or a crawl space gravity flow drainage system, spray for pests, add additional foundation vents, and so on, depending on the inspector’s advice.
Electrical Service Panel: If GFCI outlets aren’t working, outlets aren’t grounded, or someone has double tapped into a breaker, you may wish to ask to repair or have that item on your electrical panel reviewed by a qualified electrician.
Seal Gone in Double Pane Windows: This may need repaired or replaced, depending on the type of window.
Septic/Well: Expect to have the septic pumped & inspected within 1 year prior to closing, and a well purity test, at a minimum. Other issues that exist with wells include but are not limited to organic & inorganic tests for metal content & bacteriological content as well as water flow tests.
What Happens After
Upon the completion of the inspection, you will be expected to notify the Sellers, within the designated time frames, what specific things you might wish for them to take care of. This process requires the use of specific forms, within specific time frames, and with a specific delivery method. I will walk you through this process and would encourage you to ask me questions throughout.
I hope this takes some of the mystery away, and arms you with good information to assist you through the buying process!