Buying a house can sometimes be a long and tedious process. The first step is to apply with a reputable lender to be pre-approved for a mortgage and then you should find a real estate agent that you are comfortable with. The real estate agent that you decide to work with should take the time to listen to what your needs and wants are in a house or condominium. Often individuals look for six months or longer to find a home that fits their needs. Once you find the perfect house, it is in your best interest to have the purchase agreement written that will allow you a set amount of time for the home to be inspected. Usually, this will give you seven to ten days to have the home inspected for any unforeseen issues that may lead to significant expenses in the future. Having the home inspected before you complete the purchase transaction may potentially save you thousands of dollars of unexpected expenses after you close.
Your real estate agent may refer you a home inspector, but it is in your best interest to contact a minimum of three licensed home inspectors and choose the one that you’re most comfortable with. Simply choosing the home inspector that was referred to you by the real estate agent may be a conflict of interest. Your real estate agent may have a long-term relationship with the home inspector and may have a non-verbal agreement to save as many transactions as possible. A typical home inspection cost between $300 and $400. This is a worthwhile investment to avoid future unforeseen expenses. The last thing a new home buyer needs is additional expenses just after moving into their new home. If this happens, it may cause severe financial hardship. If the home inspection is bad and the seller is not willing to fix the issues, walk away and find another house.
General home inspections will disclosure defects found in the dwelling, but if something is found that is outside of their area of expertise, you may want to obtain a more specific inspection before purchasing the property.
Below is a list of other types of home inspections:
• Pest Inspection – This type of inspection will not only inform you if any wood destroying insects are found in the property, but also if dry-rot is found anywhere on the dwelling.
• Chimney – This type of inspection will make sure the chimney is functioning properly and if the liner or the brick inside the chimney are in need of repair.
• Heating and Air Conditioning – Most furnaces should be cleaned and serviced. If either the furnace or air conditioning is not functioning properly, they should be taken apart by a professional to determine the issue and cost to repair or replace.
• Lead-Based Paint – The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978, but homes newer than 1978 can still contain lead-based paint. If the house is found to have lead-base paint, you should hire a certified lead-based paint contractor to properly remove the specific areas found in the home.
• Roof – A roof inspection will disclosure the condition and life expectancy of the roof. Also, ask the roofing inspector to provide the estimated cost for repair or replacement of the roof in writing.
• Well and Septic – If the house you are considering has a well or septic system, it is in your best interest to have these inspected. The house may be located in a municipality that requires this type of inspection.
• Radon – There are many locations in the United States that have radon issues. If the dwelling has a high level of radon, it could lead to severe health conditions.
• Mold – If you find mold in the house, you should have it inspected by a licensed mold contractor. Certain types of mold can lead to serious health issues.
The above inspections will enable you to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of the property. If you have any specific concerns about the property prior to the inspections being completed, it may be more beneficial if you are present for each of the inspections. Being present at the inspections will allow you to point out your concerns with the property directly with the licensed contractors. If any issues are found in the house and you still want to purchase the property, you will have the issues and deficiencies thoroughly documented by licensed professionals. This will allow you to go back to the seller and ask for the repairs to be completed, a credit for the repairs at closing, or a reduction in the sales price.