Buying a home is the most expensive purchase most people will make in
their life and it is generally considered an extremely important
investment. Affording a home and taking care of this investment
involves more than being able to make the monthly mortgage payment.
Maintenance of the home including repairs and preventive maintenance
can be very costly.
So the home has been found, the price is right and the house looks in
pristine condition. The question is, “Can I afford to buy this home
and maintain it”? A GOOD home inspection will provide valuable information as to what the home may need now as well as expenses that may be down the road.
The first clue as to how important a home inspection is, it can be used as a contingency in the purchase offer. This contingency provides that if significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, there are no penalties for backing out of the contract.
A typical inspection lasts about two to three hours and it is preferred for the buyer to be present to get a detailed explanation of what the inspector finds. This also gives the buyer the opportunity to ask questions if things are not clear. It is normal for the inspector to check the condition of the foundation, roof, air conditioning/heating system,plumbing, electrical system, and appliances. Things like termites, chemicals, lead, environmental conditions and rodents are not typically part of a home inspection, but in some cases, can be performed at an additional cost or scheduled with a qualified contractor to be performed at the same time as the home inspection.
If the home inspection comes back with no surprises, the sale can proceed with confidence. If the inspection reveals unexpected deficiencies, the contract can be renegotiated or the buyer can back out of the contract altogether. Even if no deficiencies are found, it is a small price to pay for the peace of mind offered to the wise home buyer who allows someone who is familiar and trained in construction techniques to evaluate the home prior to purchase.
It is too late after the purchase to identify deficiencies and expect the previous owner to be responsible for the problems. The house and it’s problems belong to you. The time to notice and negotiate are before the purchase.