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If you are thinking of buying a home it is not required, but highly recommended, that you get a home inspection by a qualified home inspector.  What is a home inspection and how should you use the report?

A home inspection is exactly what it sounds like, a thorough inspection of the property by a private licensed inspector.  Once you sign the real estate contract and the seller has accepted the contract by signing it, you need to schedule your home inspection to take place as soon as possible.  From the date the contract is accepted, you have five business days to have the home inspected and for your attorney to send a letter requesting repairs to the seller’s attorney. 

The inspector should go through the entire home.   Usually the company uses a simple rating system for the components of the real estate.  Items are then rated as Acceptable, Marginal (Item is not fully functional requires repair or servicing), or Defective (item needs immediate repair or replacement. It is unable to perform its intended function).

What should the inspector be evaluating?

  • Grounds or outside area of the home. – includes any driveways, walkways, patio, porches, and vegetation
  • Exterior surface and components – includes soffits, entry doors, patio doors, windows, and window screens
  • Roof and any skylights – age and condition
  • Garage – ceiling, walls, floor/foundation, garage doors, and door operation
  • Interior of house – ceilings, walls, floors, doors
  • Kitchen and appliances – make sure they work
  • Electrical – outlets, panels, breakers, lighting, ground, doorbells, smoke detectors
  • Structure – type, foundation, joint and trusses, stairs
  • Air conditioning – condition
  • Heating System – condition
  • Plumbing – water lines, sinks, faucets, sump pumps, toilets, water heater
  • Attic – insulation, sheathing

Once I have the inspection report, we can review it and come up with a list of what to ask the seller to repair or replace.  The contract says the inspection contingency is only meant to cover major components of the real estate and the fact that a functioning major component may be at the end of its useful life shall not render such component defective for purposes of the paragraph.  Further, that a major component shall be deemed to be in operating condition if it performs the function for which it is intended, regardless of age, and does not constitute a threat to health or safety.

I always encourage clients to make the initial request for everything they want repaired to see what they can get the seller to do.  However, these are the contractual limitations.  If you are in the home buying process contact us today.