Home Inspections and Why Every Buyer Should Get One

Home Inspections and Why Every Buyer Should Get One

Once you’ve found your dream house and agreed on a sales price, it’s time to get the property inspected.  Hiring a home inspector is optional, but it is HIGHLY recommended for every purchase.  An inspector is paid by the buyer to find it all—the good, the ugly and everything in between.  An inspection is for knowledge, so you know exactly what you’re buying (or why you shouldn’t buy, in some cases.)   Knowledge is power, but what do you do with that knowledge?

Whoa, this report is long! –  Don’t worry, a lengthy report is normal.  The inspector is paid to be thorough, so it’s a good thing! Just because things are uncovered in the inspection (and yes, there will be things found), it is not a reason to completely freak out.  Inspections measure the home against current building codes and not the code from the year the home was built or updated.  As you can imagine, building codes, methods and materials change over time, so an older home with items that are not up to current code are listed as “deficiencies.”  It does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong, it means that if it were built today, it would be done differently.  A good example would be a house built in 1965 that does not have GFCI outlets in the kitchen or bathrooms.  If the house were built today, GFCI plugs would have been in at the time of building, but they weren’t when the house was built.

Did the house “PASS?” – This is not a pass/fail test.  The only one that can decide that is you.  More than likely, it may be a mix of both.  The real answer is: what do you think? Only you can answer if the inspection went well or not. What is a deal breaker to me may be no problem to another and vice versa. Once you have received the report, you have 3 choices:  carry on with the purchase, terminate the purchase, or negotiate repairs with the seller.

Repair Negotiation – So…what should you request?  There is no one size fits all answer for this.  Every situation, house and buyer is different.   If you aren’t concerned on any of it, then no repair request is needed.  However, if you have concerns, work on a solution that works for everyone.  It is best to keep the requests reasonable, clear and concise.  For example, non-functioning items and safety issues.  Keep in mind, repair requests are just that—requests.  The sellers are not required to agree to anything, but if it is reasonable, you have a better shot at coming to terms.

A home inspection is optional.  However, I would strongly encourage anyone buying or selling real estate to get a home inspection.  Yes, it costs extra and is typically a buyer’s expense.  Real estate is expensive and an inspection helps you understand exactly what you are buying—warts and all.  Best case scenario, you get a “clean” inspection and there are no serious issues.  A few hundred bucks is cheap peace of mind.  Worst case scenario, major issues are found and it saves you from a mistake or allows for a negotiation for repairs before you own it.  After all, can you really ever know too much about the house you are buying?

Lisa Priest is into knowledge and is an East Texas Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com