HOME INSPECTIONS PROTECT HOME BUYERS
Homefinders.com believes that the single most important step a home buyer can take as a part of the home purchase process is the home inspection. No one can guarantee the condition of a resale home. Therefore, the home buyer should understand that
1. You, a home buyer, cannot rely on the seller for information about the condition of the home they are offering for sale.
2. Buyers can protect themselves with a home inspection.
3. Some states go farther than others in providing protections for home buyers with required seller Property Condition Disclosure, while other states follow the "caveat emptor" rule which requires that the "buyer beware".
PROTECT YOURSELF WITH A HOME INSPECTION
We, as your agent, will do our very best, based on our experience with hundreds of home sold, to make you aware of potential problems with appliances; heating/cooling, interiors, exteriors and things we can see. However, a trained home inspector will not only test the mechanicals and appliances in a house, they will also inspect the structure, materials and condition of the components of a property. Cosmetics are not a part of a home inspection.
A good home inspector will examine the house from top to bottom. Most inspections in Maryland and Virginia will evaluate the physical condition: structure, construction, and mechanical systems. They will identify items that need to be repaired or replaced. They will also give you an estimate of useful life of the roof, appliances, mechanicals and any other equipment included with the home purchase.
You have negotiated all price, terms and conditions of the home purchase and now you want the home inspected. Good. Let's walk through a home inspection. At this point, a successful home inspection should be a contingency, meaning that, if the home inspection reveals serious defects, the home buyer can void the contract and be refunded their earnest money deposit. If the buyer decides to negotiate with the seller for repairs or compensation for defects, that stage requires that the buyer and seller negotiate repairs or agree to void the contract. So, the home inspection is a very important aspect of buying a home. A home warranty is not a substitute for a home inspection. Most home warranty policies do not protect for pre-existing conditions.
WALK THROUGH A TYPICAL HOME INSPECTION
The home inspector will look for structural integrity, They will evaluate the quality of construction and materials used.
A thorough inspection of the roof should reveal any past or present leaks. The exterior finishing will be inspected for cracked bricks, loose siding, improper grading and anything else suitable for your purchase.
The interior will be observed for signs of movement. A good home inspector will look for signs of unusual cracking, separating, shifting in the house.
The heating and air conditioning will be tested, temperature permitting, and since this is an expensive appliance, the inspector may recommend servicing of the unit if it appears that the present owners have neglected this important duty.
All kitchen appliances will be run through their cycle to make sure that they function properly. The refrigerator will be tested for temperature and seals. The range, microwave, disposer will all be run to make sure they know what to do.
All bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, exterior plumbing will be tested and inspected. This task has become very important since builders have been downgrading building materials for several years to compensate for escalating land costs.
All visible wiring, panel boxes, fixtures, switches, outlets will be tested for operating condition and safety. Often we find home owner repairs will be the most hazardous. If the homeowner did not obtain a permit and have work inspected, it may be defective and dangerous. A good home inspector spends a lot of time looking at electrical components of a house.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE HOME INSPECTION??
If the home inspector finds serious problems such as structural defects, you will have to make a decision as to whether or not to go through with the purchase. If the home inspection shows defects that are repairable or replaceable, your agent will write an addendum requesting the repairs to be made by the seller prior to settlement. The seller may agree, refuse or negotiate a cash settlement to compensate you for the defects found.
You and your agent will decide on the best way to handle any defects found. The important thing is that you are an EMPOWERED HOME BUYER when you know the good AND the not so good about a home.
Your Buyer's Agent may recommend local home inspectors or you can find home inspectors trained and certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI.com.
Send us your home inspection questions by e-mail, Or, give me a call and I'll get your questions about home inspections and contact a local home inspector for answers. Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.