Why a Home Inspection?
Once you have offered a contract on a property, your real estate professional will probably recommend that you have a professional inspect the home. The cost of this inspection is paid by you. So why would you want an inspection? What does it show? And how do you select an inspector that is reliable and reputable?
This report will provide you with the information you need to understand the importance of an inspection and how you can select the professional that will protect your interest and investment in your property.
When you make the decision to purchase a home, it can be such an exciting time. You are counting down the days until you get to move in and begin making the house YOUR home. Because The 21st Century Team wants you to continue to be excited about your new home and the new memories you will be creating, they will recommend you have your home professionally inspected to protect you and your investment now and for years to come.
When you look at a house, you probably are looking at the number of rooms, how big the yard is, how near it is to the park, the condition of the carpet, and where you are going to place your new couch. When a professional inspector looks at your home, they are looking for structural soundness, is the foundation secure, is the roof in good shape, does the plumbing work, do you have adequate electrical service, are there any drainage problems in the property, etc. A home inspection is not intended to identify "cosmetic" defects such as squeaky doors; rather, it is intended to identify the items that, if not detected before you buy a home, can cause you thousands of dollars to remedy. And that is the last thing you need when you are just moving into your new home!
When you sign the purchase contract, the contract will spell out a timeline for having the property inspected and reporting any potential defects. Therefore, when you work with The 21st Century Team, we will let you know of this date and help you schedule the appropriate inspection.
Once the inspection has occurred, you will receive a written report that includes a checklist of all of the items that have been inspected. A copy of the report will be sent to The 21st Century Team as well, so that we can discuss the findings of the report with you and help you make the decisions that are best for you and your family.
So what happens if a defect is found? It depends upon the type and severity of the problem. If it is something simple like a leaky faucet, the seller will normally remedy the situation to your satisfaction OR place money in escrow at closing until the repair work is made. If it is more serious, the situation may be different. If a seller does not remedy the situation to your satisfaction, then the contract can be considered null and void, with all earnest money being returned to you. If the roof is leaking, the seller has the opportunity to fix it, place money in escrow for it to be fixed, reduce the selling price to compensate for the defect, or not do anything. Depending upon the seller's response, you will have to decide which option is best for you. If the defect is serious, you may even have to reconsider whether or not you want the property if the seller is not willing to make the repairs to your satisfaction.
Just like you want insurance for the title to the property you are buying, your car, and your medical needs, you need to have the insurance that the home you are being is structurally sound. You don't want any surprises AND you don't want to have to try and remedy a situation if it can be avoided or handled before the home actually becomes yours. You want to be in the driver's seat. By having a home inspection, you are reducing the possibility of defects being discovered at a later date.
For this reason, The 21st Century Team recommends to virtually every buyer we work with to have a professional inspection completed as a contingency in the contract.
When you make the decision to have a home inspection, you need to consider the qualifications of the inspector. You want someone who truly is a strong background in structural engineering and design and who will honestly evaluate the home. You are not looking for someone to identify the little things like a spot in the carpet; you want a professional who is watching out for your best interests in regards to the structural integrity of your home.