Get Your Future Property Inspected No Ifs, Ands, or Buts
Buying a house isn't something you should do without first checking the condition of the property you are ponying up for.
After all, your life savings are financing the purchase, and the last thing you want to do is overpay for something not worth its value or get a house that doesn't suit your lifestyle.
There is a direct correlation between a house's physical condition and its sale price. Imagine paying a high price for a house that you assumed to be in excellent shape, only to discover after you purchased that it had a lot of defects and expensive ones too.
Property inspection is a must-do thing if you are looking to buy a house.
Understanding The Importance of Property Inspections
Not all homes on sale are the same. While others are in tip-top shape and worth their asking price, others have problems such as molds, noisy neighbors, or even structural damage.
But unless you're a professional property inspector, you probably won't know how much corrective work a house needs simply by looking at it.
Fortunately, most states now have rules that make the real estate sector a little more customer-friendly. They have regulations requiring sellers and their agents to fully and immediately inform buyers about any legal, structural, and mechanical issues associated with the property they are selling.
Nevertheless, it would help if you always remain vigilant. While sellers and their agents may be compelled to disclose property defects, they may not inform you about everything as with latent defects.
These are hidden property defects that a seller and their agent may not be aware of and can put you in serious financial difficulty if you close the sale without negotiating how they will be fixed.
Discovering latent defects helps negotiate price reductions or corrective-work credit. So, it's always good to inspect a property before buying. Over-inspecting a house is preferable to under inspecting it. Any flaws you uncover can be included in the price negotiations.
Types Of Property Inspections
Depending on your location, the construction style, and what you plan to do to the property after buying it, you can do three types of inspections.
Inspection of exterior and interior components before purchasing
Any property needs this type of inspection regardless of type or location. A full interior and exterior inspection should cover electric and plumbing work, gutters, roof, foundation, heating and cooling system, smoke detectors, insulation, bathroom, and kitchen.
It should also check for any health, safety, and environmental hazards. It usually costs between $300-$600 and may last for several hours. Depending on what they find, the inspector may recommend further inspections. Interested in learning even more about home inspections and appraisals? Click here!
Checking for pests
This isn't a large inspection. They simply check for the presence of any wood-eating insects and organisms and the extent of the damage they've caused. They cover brick homes too and usually cost between $150-$400.
General contractor's or architect's inspection
Suppose you are purchasing a fixer-upper or plan to do some corrective work or major renovations. In that case, you'll want to know if that's structurally possible on the property you're buying and if the planning codes allow it. You will need architectural or general contractor inspectors for that. These inspectors will even estimate the cost and time of your project for you.
What Properties Should Be Inspected?
Every property should be inspected. Check all homes with a foundation and a roof, including detached and attached residences, single-family homes, multi-family residences, co-ops, townhomes, and condos. Here's the breakdown:
Used Homes - The older a house, the more likely it will have sustained mechanical or structural problems. So, if you're looking to buy a used home, don't fail to inspect.
New Homes - Check for construction flaws because some builders are always in a rush to make a profit, even if it means cutting corners.
Condo - If you buy a condo, you also get the whole building in which it's located, so you share part of the corrective work regarding common areas such as heating system, roof, and foundation.
Foreclosed Property - Whether new or used property that ends up in foreclosure, you want to check it thoroughly from foundation to the roof.
- Co-ops apartments, townhouses, and all other forms of co-ownership properties because you'll share in the repair cost if you close the deal without getting the property fixed.
What Types of Damages Can Inspections Discover?
Defects discovered through property inspections can be categorized as one of the following:
Latent Defects - These are hidden damages. If you don't find them before accepting the deal, you'll have to cover future repair costs yourself. These include zoning violations, title issues, a cracked heat exchanger in the furnace, termite damage, faulty wiring, asbestos, and other health-and-safety code violations. They are usually hidden behind walls, in the attic, or under the house.
- Patent Defects - These refer to the obvious defects that don't need to be pointed out by a professional inspector. For example, a flooded basement, a curved roof, a stain on the wall, missing fixtures, leaky faucets, and open electric wires are easy to see.
Always hire a professional inspector to give the house a closer look. Things like cracks, moisture, insects, and mold are easy to spot on your own, but that doesn't mean you don't need the help of a pro.
You may think a crack is easily fixable, yet it might be a serious underlying issue. Before having the house inspected, point the professional inspector to any issues you see so they can go in and check the extent of the damage.
If you are a first-time homebuyer, learn everything you need to know here!
According to research carried out by Robert Sheehan, a housing economist, which was later published in the Wall Street Journal, 40% of houses have one or more major defects. But you won't easily tell the extent of defects or the cost of corrective work by simply looking at a house yourself. Always have a professional inspector as part of your house buying team.
Professional inspectors have the training and experience needed to check for patent and latent defects and inform the extent of corrective work needed. Inspections will help you save money on the purchase by negotiating the price down or requesting the seller pay for corrective work out of their pocket.
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