The Commonwealth Blog

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Home Inspections

You May Save Yourself a Major Headache  

Before purchasing a home, it’s wise to go through with an inspection. This prevents unwanted mayhem from occurring after you’ve signed papers, shaken hands, and moved into your new home -- only to find the roof is about to cave in. To ensure everything’s in great shape and you have peace of mind, opt for an inspection by a certified inspector before committing to your move.


While the inspection’s not necessary, unless outlined by the loan agreement, you may save yourself a lot of trouble and money. Here’s what you need to know.


Interiors and Exteriors Are Covered

A solid home inspection covers both inside and outside spaces, and it’s important that your inspector does a thorough job while looking for possible leaks, cracks, and other problematic issues. While outside, he or she will search for cracks in walls, crumbling brick, issues with roofs, and will inspect the state of attached structures like garages and carports. They should have an understanding of the structural integrity of your soon-to-be home and report all issues back to you.


The inside will similarly be investigated to find issues that may cause further damage. The inspector will scout out possible sources of leaks and fire hazards. They’ll inspect heating and air systems and evaluate your water tank. They’ll move on to the plumbing, wiring, ventilation systems, and test all smoke detectors. Appliances may have a looking over, but it’s not mandatory, and homeowners should ask inspectors to see if all washers, dryers, and dishwashers are in tip-top shape.


Fixes that require the help of a specialist won’t be included in the inspection. So if you’ve got a termite issue on your hands or a damaged septic tank, seek advice from specialists in those fields. While it’s likely nothing is wrong with your new home, going through with an inspection will make sure everything is working properly, giving you the green light to move forward with the deal. You’ll feel confident knowing you’ve inspected all nooks and crannies before settling in.


You’re Responsible for Hiring an Inspector

You are the one responsible for paying for the inspection fee, which is usually around several hundred dollars. If a specialist is needed to investigate other pressing matters, you may have to shovel more money out of your pocket. Sometimes, the seller is willing to negotiate the cost of the inspection fee, which is usually fairly reasonable.


Some states also require inspections to be done by a specialist with a certified license, and we recommend doing your research to find a trustworthy source. Realtors are available to recommend inspectors and help move the sale along. You ultimately want to rely on an inspector who won’t miss any minor or major damages.


Negotiation is Possible

If large damages are discovered during the process, buyers have several options. They can negotiate the matter with the seller and deduct the cost of repairs from the sale of the house. If that option’s not on the table, buyers can request a cash credit from the cost of the sale to take care of the damages themselves.


If you’re dealing with major repairs, it’s important to consider what you’re willing to work with. Understand some projects are too lofty to take on, and it may be worth continuing your search for the perfect home elsewhere. If everything is good to go and only minor issues arise, you can trust you made a responsible decision by investigating beforehand. Now, you’re ready to move into a home you know is structurally safe and sound – all with the help of a handy-dandy home inspection.


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