What Is the Point of the Home Inspection?

For the past few years it’s been highly unlikely for a purchaser to add a home inspection contingency to their offer. Everything has been waived from the appraisal to the home inspection and don’t even think about needing to sell your home to buy. Thankfully things are cooling… SLIGHTLY, so you can add one of the above to your offer and still seem competitive. So what is the point of the home inspection?

Home Audit:

What it is…

As a purchaser you hire a home inspector to dissect the home you could potentially end up owning on settlement day. This means you are paying money to a licensed inspector to give you every little detail about that home. They compile the report and list all the “latent defects” in the Summary of their report with estimates*** for cost to repair. ***Remember they are not the contractor, they are guessing how much it will cost and typically overestimate.

Discover Latent Defects

The same inspector you are paying wants to do a good job because they want to continue to inspect homes for a living. This means they aren’t going to keep ANY secrets from you. A good home inspector will spend a few hours at the home, looking at everything from the chimney cap to the sump pump in the basement. When they discover a latent defect (something really bad), they will list it as “significant defect” in their report. This means you’ll want to hire a contractor who specializes in that area of the home to give you their expertise. If that specialist tells you it’s a “significant defect” too and something that needs to be repaired immediately, you should not hesitate to ask or it to be repaired at the seller’s expense. If the seller doesn’t agree with you and refuses to offer at least a credit, this probably isn’t the house for you.

Don’t Wait

You only have the Inspection Period

In the state of Virginia, the default number of days to get an inspection done on a home is 10 days. You can change that to however many days you’d like, but the longer you wait can affect your loan approval and the shorter you do can mean less time to find an inspector. If latent defects are discovered, make sure you have enough time to hire the specialist to give you their opinion.

Not the Point

In this market you are LUCKY to have the opportunity to get an inspection done. This is not the time to nitpick about cosmetic issues. Chances are the seller will reject your findings and sell it to the backup offer they are sitting on. Be smart about repairs you request the seller to fix. If it’s a loose screw on the doorknob and you are going to insist that they fix it, you better start searching for another home.

Keep In Mind…

that hiring an inspector is entirely up to you. If you want to know every detail about the home you are buying and you get the opportunity to do so, don’t be alarmed when they send you an eighty-page report… especially if the home was built before 2000. This report is for you to use as a reference for when you have moved in and you want to know how to properly maintain your home. It is not a report to scare you.

(c) Castro Marina

(c) Ultimate Pools