Home Inspection Coming Up? Smart Strategies to Make It Work For You.

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Smart Strategies To Make A Wilmingtno NC Home Inspection Work For You

Whether you’re buying or selling a home (or both), pay special attention to how a home inspection can serve your interests. A professional home inspection protects both buyers and sellers from legal action sparked by problems found after a home is sold.Buyers have long been advised to include a home inspection contingency in their purchase offers. The cost–$300 or so–is well worth the information it buys, protecting the purchaser from costly surprises later on. In fact, many homes harbor problems their owners aren’t even aware of until a professional inspector points them out. (That’s why some savvy sellers have been getting their homes inspected before putting them on the market.)

Inspection Contingencies

A sales contract may include one of two types of inspection contingencies:

  1. A “general contingency” inspection clause stipulates that the contract is contingent on the buyer conducting a “satisfactory” professional home inspection. The contingency specifies a certain number of days for the buyer to conduct the inspection and report back to the seller, and allows the seller time to respond to the inspector’s findings.With a general contingency clause, if the buyer dislikes anything in the inspection results and chooses not to go forward with the transaction, the contract is null and void. Obviously, this type of contingency favors the buyer.
  2. A “specific contingency” spells out particular criteria that must be met before the buyer can back out, e.g., the owner’s failure to fix a problem identified by the inspection. The buyer can’t just walk away for any reason. Although not ideal for buyers, this type of contingency offers more protection than no home inspection clause at all.

Checking It Out

The most reputable home inspectors are members of The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and are bonded, licensed and insured.

What do these professionals look at? ASHI Standards of Practice require that an inspection evaluate the following:

  • Structural Components
  • Exterior
  • Roofing o Central Air Conditioning
  • Heating
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Insulation and Ventilation
  • Interiors

It’s equally important to understand what a professional inspector is not supposed to do.

An inspector can’t tell you everything you want to know about a house. Remember, inspectors are generalists who have a fair amount of information about all home systems but usually are not experts on any of them.

Professional inspectors are not supposed to fix problems they find. How much would you trust someone if you knew they were looking for a repair job while searching for defects in the home? If a major problem is found, ask a reputable contractor how much it would cost to repair or replace it.

Don’t expect the inspection report to include the condition of every single nail, electrical wire or piece of plumbing. Inspectors check out the overall systems, not all the joints and nail pops (unless they are visible).

Inspectors can’t give you the reason for the defects they find. Their job is to find defects, not to explain them.

Don’t expect a listing of cosmetic concerns–that’s the buyer’s job.

The inspector has no way of telling how long a system will last and shouldn’t volunteer an opinion about it. The inspection is not intended to be a guarantee of future performance.

Non-Contingent Inspections

As many real estate markets in the nation have heated up, buyers have increasingly been making purchase offers without including a home-inspection contingency. In an active market, this strategy can help make your offer more attractive to a seller, even though it puts you at risk for purchasing a home with problems that could be expensive to correct.

If you’re considering foregoing the home-inspection contingency, think seriously about having the home inspected anyway. Finding out ahead of time what you’ll need to fix will help you budget more realistically for your home purchase. For example, you may want to make a smaller down payment so you’ll have the cash you need for repairs.

Another reason to order a non-contingent inspection is if you’re thinking about purchasing a home warranty. These warranties can afford you some protection in case a system in your home malfunctions, but they will not cover “pre-existing defects.” If something does go wrong later, your home inspection report can help you prove to the warranty provider that the problem did not exist when you purchased the home.

Seller Benefits

Especially in slow markets, sellers do well to order home inspections (and make needed repairs) before putting their homes on the market. Being able to show that your home has a clean bill of health can encourage purchase offers from skittish buyers and speed your contract settlement.

Even if you’re selling in a seller’s market, you may want to accept a contract with an inspection contingency or have your home pre-inspected. Letting buyers know about defects you don’t intend to correct will help provide protection against legal action later. More and more buyers have been filing after-purchase lawsuits against home sellers for major defects found in homes that were not inspected before settlement. Whether such lawsuits are successful or not, they represent a real hassle for sellers.

Give us a call if you have any questions about ordering professional home inspections. We would be happy to provide you with a list of reputable inspectors in the area.

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Inspecting Your Home | Great Advice | Wilmington NC real estate

 

The purchase of a home is the single most costly investment most people make, and you want to know what you are getting for your hard earned money. Inspections are a great way for home buyers to assure themselves that the home they are buying is in good condition.

A real estate agent will not determine the condition of the property. It is your responsibility, as a buyer, to ascertain the condition of the property. A licensed, professional inspector is best qualified to make an unbiased and objective evaluation of the functionality of each item or if it is in need of repair. The seller is not required to repair any items, but in the event he/she chooses not to, then the buyer may terminate.

What will the inspection cover?

An inspection will usually cover, at a minimum, those items specifically mentioned on the offer to purchase and contract. However, the inspector will not limit himself to those items.

An inspection typically will include all structural items, mechanical and electrical systems and appliances, as well as checking for water penetration.

Termites, gas line, swimming pool/spa, sprinkler systems, septic systems and environmental inspections are usually additional investigations, and these additional services may or may not be offered by a particular inspector.

Cosmetic items are usually not noted because they are not included in your contract. The seller may have agreed in the contract to repair only those items listed up to a certain dollar amount.

What should you look for in selecting an inspector?

At a minimum, expect an inspector to be licensed or certified. Sometimes membership in a home inspectors� association will ensure the inspector has committed himself to a certain code of ethics and policies.

Are all mechanical/structural inspections the same?

No. Some inspectors will check items like shower pans, window air conditioning units, gas lines, windows, decks, patios, oven temperatures, water heater temperature and pressure relief valves, solar heating systems, attic insulation, etc., while other inspectors may not look at those items. Ascertain, up front, what items will be inspected and include everything you think is important.

How long will an inspection take?

A complete structural and mechanical inspection of an average 2,000 sq. ft home on a slab foundation will usually take about four to six hours. Additional inspections of pier and beam foundations, swimming pools and sprinkler systems will take longer.

You, the buyer, should be present at the inspection to address any questions that arise regarding problems discovered during the process and to receive maintenance tips the inspector passes on. The inspection report should be provided promptly so repair requests are submitted within the contract time.

How much will an inspection cost?

Inspection costs depend on home size, add-ons and the inspector. Cost is too often a deciding factor in selecting an inspector.

When purchasing a $100,000 home, a $10 to $15 difference in price may prevent a buyer from choosing the more experienced inspector. Many inspectors invest considerable time and money in education for their clients, providing handouts, taking pictures of any damage, and detailing information in a helpful way, as you evaluate your potential purchase.

 For more information please visit www.cbbaker.com