Home Inspections: Protect Your Purchase
Home inspections are a no-brainer. Yet, time and time again, we hear about buyers who try to save a few dollars and wind up with a mess that could have been prevented. Home inspections are not meant to be a guarantee, but they will give you a lot of great information and help find potential problems. Not all these problems are necessarily deal breakers and some are simple, easy fixes that take moments, but will save you from a nightmare later on down the line. Regardless of the age of the home (even if it’s not even built yet), you should always have a home inspected, there’s a reason the FHA has a form titled “For Your Protection Get a Home Inspection.”
I regularly read a blog written by an inspector and friend of mine, Charles Buell (the man shown in the photo). Charles doesn’t work here in San Antonio, but is out in Seattle, WA. Some of the issues he visits in his blog are the same as ours here in South Texas, some are not. Regardless, I find his blog to be a great source of information about the little details that a great inspector is looking for. If you enjoy the photo of him in the crawl space, take a look at his blog for some amazing photos.
In a post we recently read, Charles talks about a few things that we find can be very helpful to remind a buyer of before they go into an inspection:
- No house is perfect.
This even applies to new construction. Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean everyone did a perfect job.
- Nothing lasts forever.
Something will always need fixed or replaced.
- Everything can be fixed or replaced.
And it’s not necessarily going to be the seller’s job to do so.
- Rats are everywhere.
You might as well add a veritable host of strange critters to the list since we live in San Antonio.
- Roofs leak.
And they only leak when it rains, which is awfully inconvenient.
- Wood destroying organisms and mold are everywhere and waiting for a place to happen.
Knowing who to call and how to help avoid them is the trick.
- Neighbors happen.
Do what I do and kill them with kindness (although I haven’t had a bad one in quite some time).
- It is your job to decide what “works” for you – it is not the inspector’s job – it is not the agent’s job – it is not your parent’s job.
Much as only you can truly decide if a house is a good value, we can give you the facts and figures, but if you want it bad enough, you’ll pay what you think it’s worth.
The hardest part of home inspections is understanding that although something may be listed in the report as “deficient,” it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. The inspection should happen during the “option period” of your contract (a negotiable amount of time). By getting it done during this time, the buyer is able to walk away with losing their earnest money if they and the seller can’t come to an agreement over any requested repairs. Although we know most people want their house perfect when they move in, like many things in life, it’s all about choosing your battles. Do you really want to lose the home that just a few days ago you loved, all because a seller refuses to fix the dripping faucet?
A good inspector should be detail-oriented and willing to take the time to explain things in plain English. First inspection I attended, the T&P valve was broke. The buyer’s inspector took the time to explain what it is, why it mattered, and what the recommended fix was (replacing it). He then followed up with why and how they break. That kind of information empowers the buyer for the future and is about as valuable as gold. If your inspector doesn’t want to answer your questions so that you’re comfortable in knowing what the outcome of the inspection is, then you don’t have a very good inspector.
If you need recommendations for an inspector, ask you Realtor, we work with many great inspectors that can help you. Have more questions? You can always contact us.
photo courtesy of Charles Buell