We’ve all heard about the notorious home inspection. Why are they important? What do they really show?
No home is going to be in perfect condition. Codes change yearly, better materials are made, building practices change, people try to save money by using someone unlicensed to do work. Even new construction has their problems, contractors don’t confirm with architects or builders try to cut corners to save on cost. I like to describe a home inspector like your general practitioner or doctor. They do a well check of the house – are all the systems working? Are there safety issues? Is the house and surrounding structures built securely? What is the lifetime of appliances, systems, deck, roof etc? They will point out areas of concern, but remember they are inspectors, not specialists. So like your doctor would, they will refer you to a specialist like a electrician, roofer, plumber or structural engineer to determine the best course of action.
While it is important to have a home inspection, it’s also important to keep an open mind and take everything with a grain of salt. Here’s why – like I said above, home inspectors are just providing you information and HAVE to refer you to a specialist. Sometimes the specialist is not needed. Your agent should be able to advise you on major issues that should be addressed by the sellers. Ideally, you want a home that is functional and has life left on major expenses.
Home inspections are helpful too, because the inspector can educate you on the systems, how they work and how often they should be serviced. They can help point out important home functions that you may not have known about. Make sure you do your due diligence and ask the sellers about specific materials or systems you have questions about. Contact their contractors and servicers to get records on how and when things were serviced. Learning how to better educate yourself can make you a happier home buyer!
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Remember all advice is solely mine and is to not override the advice or guidance of your broker.