There’s a common saying, “You can never be too careful or too prepared.” I may have added that last part but both are true, especially in the realm of real estate. Trust is something you earn, but in business and home sales it’s best to do your own homework rather than rely on the other party. A home inspector is a third party who can give you information about the home you are purchasing that may not be readily available to the naked eye. Roof issues, plumbing, termites and more, a good inspector can let you know whether you are buying a move-in-ready home or a fixer upper.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a home inspection with one of my buyers on an existing home where everything went very well. The home was around 20 years old but had been upgraded and remodeled and the buyers were happy to learn there were no major defects. Every home inspection is likely to uncover a few issues and repairs, be it minor or major, so expect to learn something new when you attend your inspection or go over the report. No home is perfect. While at the home inspection the inspector, Woody Franklin with Franklin Services Home Inspections, relayed a tale of a recent inspection he completed on a million dollar new construction home. Woody and his client discovered some less-than-minor issues and were able to share them with the builder to get them resolved prior to closing. New or used, I personally believe it’s a prudent idea to get an independent third party inspector into the home you are purchasing to give it a thorough once over and advise you on its condition. If the home is new, the builders will fix the items for you and hey, after all, that’s what home warranties are for!
As mentioned above, it’s commonplace to find items needing repair, such as areas of wood rot or leaky faucets in existing homes. These are usually easy fixes depending on the scope and size and generally not a reason for panic. Ideally, a buyer will be prepared for most items they find by reviewing the seller’s disclosures. However, now that short sales and foreclosures make up a decent share of available inventory, seller’s disclosures are often blank as the sellers may not know if there are defects in the home being that they may have never occupied it.
Another great resource for uncovering features or defects in a home are the neighbors and the HOA. Don’t be shy here, give the HOA board members a call and ask if they are aware of this home having any recent repairs. Are the homes in this neighborhood prone to any particular defects? What can you expect? Recently I did just this on a personal purchase and learned that the seller’s tenants in both sides of a duplex had their a/c units repaired recently, along with a wood rot repair. The seller’s disclosures I was provided? Blank. The HOA was also able to advise me that the homes in that neighborhood tended to need certain repairs. It pays to do your homework, so hire an inspector and get the full story on your new or existing home.