You’ve done it. You’ve found your dream home, you’ve put in an offer, handled the negotiations, and now have an executed contract! Congrats! It’s hard not to get excited when you clear that first real estate hurdle, but any seasoned professional will tell you “it’s all fun and games until you get to inspections.”
While not all loan types require a home inspection, it’s a good precaution to take prior to signing on the many dotted lines. Also it’s important to know that some grant/incentive programs require an additional inspection known as an HQS. And, if you’re doing a 203K loan you will also be required to have a HUD inspection.
A proper home inspection should take at least three hours. If your inspector is in and out in under an hour, you may have hired the wrong person for the job. Most standard inspection prices are based on square footage, ie., a town home in the city will run about $350.00 to $450.00 depending on size, single family will generally cost a little more. You also have the option to request a termite treatment $65.00-$85.00, and radon test $100.00-150.00. I recommend that most of my buyers start with the basic test and termite treatment then see what the inspector recommends as far as mold, water, chimney, etc. It is worth noting that the seller is contractually obligated to make repairs to any termite damage and treat any active infestation that is found during the inspection, unless the property is being sold “as is.”
Your inspection will generally start with a look at the exterior and roof and then will move inside to test all major systems, electric, plumbing, and appliances. When the inspection is complete your inspector will review his or her findings with you, and you will also get a full report in writing to review. Generally from time of contract you have 14 days to have an inspection and request repairs or terminate your offer due to the findings of the report. We will comb though the report and make a strategic list of what we will have the seller repair prior to settlement. Some common things that come up on a home inspection include:
- Roof damage
- Water management at exterior
- HVAC service needed
- “Double Tapping” of breakers
- Failing caulk in bathrooms
These are common examples of things found that you can request that the seller have the appropriate licensed contractors repair and certify for you. I also generally have a seller pay for a one year home warranty to cover things that homeowners insurance doesn’t – this includes your indoor plumbing, appliances, electrical and more.
Inspections can be intimidating. Try to remember that there is no perfect home, even brand new construction homes are going to have a few things on the repair list. There is also no fool proof inspection, and buying a home is always a risk, but with risk often comes reward and a proper home inspection can help you prepare for the road ahead. If you have any questions about the home inspection process please contact me at MeighanMoves@gmail.com