When purchasing a home, it is always a wise decision to pay for a home inspection made of the home. An inspection is like a check-up for your house. As soon as your offer has been accepted and the contract has been executed by both buyer and seller, the inspection period count-down begins. This is the number of days allotted for all inspections to be completed on the home After the inspection both you and your Realtor will receive a copy of the inspector’s findings and discuss which, if any, repairs you want the seller to administer. Some repairs may already have been agreed to by the seller as part of the written executed contract. I have also seen plenty of home inspection reports with only minor fixes needing to be made. Much will depend on how well the seller has maintained the home. Some repairs will need to be addressed now, and others need to be addressed down the road.
A buyer may opt for having an inspection done prior to signing a contract which allows for negotiating of inspection report findings into the transaction. However, many buyers do wait until they are in contract and then order inspections within the contractual time period allotted. Inspection costs usually vary depending on the square footage of a house.
NOTE: when looking at REO properties (real estate owned by financial institution- properties which have already been foreclosed on and are back on the market) regardless what the inspection findings are, REO’s are “SOLD AS IS.” The point of the inspection report is so you know how much work you will need to do on the home after the closing. Your Realtor® can add a contingency to your contract to give you an out based on $ amount of repairs needed. Whether or not that contract gets accepted by the Seller with the contingency is up to the Seller.
Just because a house needs repairs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase it. Nearly every house will have a list of repairs that need to be done to get it “shipshape.” It is your decision to choose how much you are willing to spend and how much work you are willing to do.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), “the standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature per-mitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.”
There are limits, however, to what a home inspection will cover. They are not required to identify conditions that are concealed or are considered latent defects (hidden behind personal property, plants, snow, or debris). A home inspector is not required to move those items to inspect and isn’t liable if he misses it. An inspector is not required to make determinations on systems that are not readily accessible.
Home inspectors are not required to note the presence of potentially hazardous plants and animals. That includes “wood destroying organisms” or even molds.
Other Inspection Types:
Termite Inspection – Wood Destroying Organisms
Mold Mitigation – home and termite inspectors will take moisture readings in crawl space, basement, attic areas. Mold likes dark damp areas. If mold is visible, a mold mitigator will be required.
Roof Inspection – home inspectors are not required to walk a roof, but they will eyeball issues such as spots where roof is sagging, dry boot vents, fish eyes (nails popping up), flashing in need of repair, water leak stains in attic, etc. Depending on the types of roofing issues found during home inspection, a roof inspection may be required.