What to Expect When You’re Inspecting
You’re offer has just been accepted on the house of your dreams. It’s the perfect house; the yard is already landscaped, the kitchen is large and full of brand new appliances, the finished basement is ideal for all your recreation and storage needs, and the master bedroom is right where you wanted it. On top of that, you and your spouse are sure you won’t have to do any work on this one. You couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it, even when you arranged for a second showing, just before you made your offer. Now your real estate agent is telling you it’s time to schedule all your inspections. What inspections? What could be wrong with such a great house?
Fast forward two weeks, and you’re feeling like this house might need to be condemned! The inspectors have just handed you a laundry list of items. You feel like you’re going to need a second mortgage to get everything repaired! What do you do now? Did you just get stuck purchasing a money-pit? What could you have done to better prepare for such a shock, when you thought you had scored the perfect house?
Friends, there are answers to these questions. When you work with an experienced realtor, there should be no surprises. The fact is, the house may truly still be that perfect house for you, but you must know what to expect when you’re inspecting. So, let’s look at the inspection process briefly and get a little perspective.
First of all, what exactly is a home inspection? In short, a home inspection is a comprehensive detailed report of just about every element of the home, from the roof to the foundation, and all of the functioning components. This includes, plumbing, appliances, doors, windows, and garage door openers. You want to know what’s “under the hood” of this house just as you would when purchasing a used car – nobody wants a lemon.
Other common inspections we recommend include a Radon Inspection and a Sewer Line Inspection. If you’re purchasing in rural areas you’ll want to test the well and water quality, along with inspecting the septic system.
With all these inspections, you must expect to find problems in every house you look at, even newly built homes. No matter the age of the home, you will find damaged or worn components. For example, plumbing fixtures, oven vents, windows, electrical panels, house siding, and sprinkler systems. Some of these items are important to address, while others should be left to the category of normal wear and tear. Let’s take a moment here to consider the former. We always recommend that our clients focus on four areas when it comes to the Inspection Objection process. (More on the objection negotiation process in another post) These are the issues that any reasonable Seller should consider handling:
- Safety: Unsafe railings, broken windows, exposed or poorly installed electrical wiring
- Structure: Old, worn or leaky roofs, concrete with the foundation
- Health: Radon, mold, presence of mice dropping
- Major mechanical: Very old or dirty furnaces, leaking or broken sprinkler systems, leaky plumbing, faulty sewer lines
There’s so much more, but this is just to get you started in knowing what to expect. Handling negotiations with a seller is the next step – like I said, more on this in another post! So, remember, it may really be the “perfect house” for you, but if you’re prepared for the issues that will arise you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache!
Written by Scott Davidson
Scott Davidson is a Broker with the Colorado Dream House Team, Keller Williams Realty DTC. Contact the Colorado Dream House Team at 720-446-6325, Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, Watch us on YouTube