What You Should Know About Your Home Inspection
I wrote a recent post detailing the Massachusetts Offer to Purchase Real Estate. Part of this contract will be your home inspection contingency clause. You will likely hire a home inspector to evaluate your new purchase prior to entering the next contract, the Purchase and Sales agreement.
You have worked hard finding your new home. You've researched the market, spent hours upon hours peering at homes on line, and even more visiting those homes. But, now it's done! You've found that home, and have come to terms with the Seller on the property! Your offer allows for you to have a home inspection usually within a specified amount of time. Think within 10 days. That should give you plenty of time for this phase, during which the Seller will have his house off the market.
The Inspection Contingency Clause is is fairly standard and expected. In most cases this clause will give you the opportunity to investigate the property and back out of the transaction if you find any major structural, mechanical or other defects.
What You Should Know
Be present for the inspection. This way you can investigate the property along with the Inspector, listening, learning and asking questions about your new home. The Inspector will give you helpful maintenance tips as well as point out any present or potential problems that he/she sees. You should get a written report that details the aspects of the inspection, and it's easier to understand the report if you have been around the property with the guy/gal.
Keeping it in Perspective. You're probably not buying a new home. The home won't be perfect, none are, even if it is new. Remember, the Inspector's job is to find all the imperfections. You will want to remain as realistic and objective as possible.
- Are there items significant enough that they would make you not want to buy this home?
- Have they found a safety issue?
- Or, something that will become a large unexpected expense now or in the near future that you had not anticipated?
What if there is a Problem? If you find something that really bothers you, you can
- back out of the home,
- ask the Seller to fix it
- or negotiate.
Either way, it's your decision, but don't forget why you got to this point. You love the place or you wouldn't be looking to buy it! Experience tells me that it's easy to get freaked out when an inspector is picking the place apart. Remember his job it to find it all... no matter how big or small.
Finding a Great Inspector.
Many folks, myself included come from families that have very handy and educated family members, but we are talking about a very expensive purchase here. You want to make sure to hire someone that is engaged in the business of doing home inspections, not your Uncle Harry! It's fine to bring him along, but really, rely on the professional. You should be interested in finding someone that is thorough, experienced and can communicate with you in layman's terms.
There is a Standards of Practice for home inspectors. Massachusetts also has a web site that assists with Facts for consumers. Check it out.
What's Included in Your Home Inspection ?
Structural Components: Foundation, sills, joists, beams, supports, etc.
Exterior Components: Siding, windows, decks and porches, gutters and downspouts, driveways, general landscape condition.
Roofing: Flashings, and chimneys.
Mechanicals: Plumbing, Electrical, Heating/AC, Water Heaters, Fuel
Interior: Ceilings, floors, railings, doors and windows, stairs, sometime appliances
Insulation and Ventilation: Attic, basement, insulation types, kitchen and bathroom fans, etc.
Garage Doors, openers, etc.
Other Inspections to Consider. Pest, Radon, Mold, Septic, Well, Pool, Chimney, Lead Paint
A Great Home Inspection should leave you feeling secure about your purchase!
But, You have to find that home first! So, Call me! 508-494-9061 or email