So you are buying a home. For most of us, without a doubt, this will be the largest investment we will make. Hiring a home inspector helps identify any major issues with the home as well as teaching you general maintenance and care for the home.
Now, as we all know, no home is perfect. But there is a difference between a home with a 25 year old roof with a crack at the chimney and a home with a new roof and all cracks repaired.
Or, as another example, you may perceive the home value or cost to repair differently with an older home that doesn’t have any GFI’s (ground fault interrupters) outlets versus a new home with a large horizontal crack in the foundation and water in the basement.
When you toured the home, it’s not likely you looked that close at the roof, the outlets, or the crack in the foundation on a dry day.
Home inspections are a sound investment. Ranging in price from $300 – $600 or more depending on the house size, features, and variety of inspections. Some of the typical inspections include the basic home inspection and the pest inspection. A basic home inspection may include the review of the overall structure, roof to basement, walls, etc, plus the function of the mechanicals including the furnace, air conditioner (temperature permitting), water treatment systems, and electrical system. If the appliances are a major concern, you may also consider an inspection for these items as well.
The pest inspection should be considered on almost every home. The issue of wood destroying insects in and around your home should be considered before the evidence is apparent to the common home owner and it’s too late.
I asked a home inspector, Bob Dalga, Home Analysts, with 20 years experience, what was the biggest concern or the most frequent issue that comes up during a home inspection in his opinion? “As far as a #1 issue goes, personally I don’t feel there is one. Every home is different. However, I would have to say the electrical system is by far the most problematic and frequently issue brought up during an inspection. The electrical system is by far the most complex system within the home. Many things can go (and do go) wrong right from the start with the installation if not done properly (or professionally). Moreover, all components (e.g. fuses, breakers, wiring, bonding, switches, receptacles, etc.) will fail over time. Many of these failures typically go undetected by the average homeowner. Many household fires start from faulty electrical systems causing thousands of dollars in damage every year or worst yet injury (or death) to the occupants. This is where a trained and experience home inspector can help. Home inspectors are trained to identify and report on the current (no pun intended) condition of the electrical system in the home.”
Home inspections are frequently considered when buying a home but have you thought about hiring a home inspector BEFORE you sell? A home owner can save themselves thousands of dollars in negotiations, and added stress, with a preliminary home inspection. You will be surprised the information you will learn, you may choose to fix the items even if you are not selling the home, and you will have time to make the repairs or get quotes to make the repairs in a less stressful situation.
Review your inspection choices and time frame with your real estate professional, and after you have the home inspection, it is best to discuss the issues and how to handle your objections directly with your real estate professional.