GET A HOME INSPECTION!
For the Seller too:
You may think that this is an article directed only towards you as a Buyer, but no it is not. When you have intentions of listing your property, it may be wise to have a home inspection on your property to reveal any hidden dangers that may bite you when you are in escrow. Just think of this as a possible money saver in the end. If you are selling your property for lets say $1,000,000. Is it worth your while to invest in a home inspection that may cost around $500 to avoid losing your prospective buyer or having to renegotiate due to health hazards that may have been discovered in the home inspection period? It is a precautionary tool that may benefit you!
Why a Buyer needs a home inspection:
A home inspection gives the Buyer more detailed information about the overall condition of the property prior to purchasing. In a home inspection, a qualified and licensed inspector takes an in-depth look at the property to evaluate the physical condition that would include structure, construction, and mechanical functions. The inspection will identify items that need repair or replacement. The home inspector will also estimate the remaining useful life of the appliances, equipment, structure and finishes.
The home inspector will take from 2-4 hours to inspect the property depending on the size of the house. They usually prefer to inspect alone and then meet their clients for the walk through at the end of their physical inspection.
The inspection report will consist of approximately 20+ pages of detailed information on the property and also photos of their findings. The general breakdown of their findings will include the following:
The exterior which will include: The driveway, sidewalks, retaining walls if any, patio, decks/porch, fences/gates, exterior stairs, exterior walls, trim, sprinklers, hose/faucets, gutters/downspouts, grading, slab-on-grade/crawl space, basement, roof, flashings etc. Pools and hot tubs usually will cost additional, but necessary to inspect as well.
The interior will include: Plumbing throughout, supply lines, waste lines, fuel system, water heater, heating/cooling units, air filters, electrical throughout, sub panels, wiring notes which would include switches/outlets, doors, windows, interior walls, ceilings, floors, smoke detectors, laundry, attic, the garage, the kitchen appliances in detail, the bathrooms in detail.
As the Buyer, when having a home inspection done, the primary concern is the health and safety issues that may arise in your home inspection that you may want to have corrected or be given a credit on particular findings that you can correct on your own after the purchase before you sign off the home inspection addendum. This exercise is not to nit pick the sellers with superficial findings. Your Realtor will be present on this appointment, and can advise you further on your findings and how you may want to handle the situation. This is a crucial time in the selling process, because if there are major concerns of the house that is making you think twice, now will be the time to make those decisions on if you want to move forward with your purchase or not. You also might want to bring in other inspectors of specific trades if a potential problem has been discovered which you might want a second opinion on during the home inspection period of your contract.
If your realtor is a seasoned one, they may have several local home inspectors to recommend, or you can choose one on your own if you prefer.