Home Inspection Is Not An Option

Home Inspection

The sellers accepted your offer. Great!! Congratulations!

Now what? You are given some 17 days to do your due diligence, and the most important thing to do first is the physical inspection.

Buying a resale house almost always requires a home inspection. If you are not a knowledgeable contractor, hire one who has been a professional home inspector for many years. The inspectors who have been on roof tops and under crawl spaces of hundreds of homes at minimum, as professional inspectors not city inspectors, would be ideal. Remodeled homes with new floors, new countertops, and new windows are always great and compelling, but don’t be surprised if their outlets are not grounded or the roof is at the end of its life. These problems get discovered through the home inspection. Other discoveries that seemed harmless to your innocent eyes may lead to costly repairs to you, if you didn’t catch them during your diligence period.

Ok, then what? You now have the report. You would request the seller to fix or replace items and submit this list to the seller’s representative. Remember that the sellers don’t have to agree to any of your requests. Then your choice is to accept the house in its condition as discovered, or cancel the transaction, get your deposit back provided you are doing this within the diligence period, or renegotiate with the seller to both parties’ satisfaction.

More sensitive issues like presence of mold or asbestos must be evaluated by the inspectors who have specializations in those areas. Always have the specialist take swatches from the wall and sample the air to determine what type and what level of contamination is in the air. If there is suspicion of disturbed asbestos, air sampling would be the best move. Special sampling and lab fees apply. If you buy a home on a hillside, or near water sources, these require different inspectors. If you still want the house despite all your discoveries, and they turn positive to mold or asbestos, you may determine if the level is acceptable or decide not to take a chance and cancel the deal in a timely manner and get your deposit back. Otherwise, you will renegotiate with the seller for remediation and costs.

Always play safe. Hiring specialized inspectors is worth the investment. Ask your agent for the Environmental Hazards and Earthquake Report Book. It is loaded with information and recommendations. If you don’t educate yourself, you may end up passing up on a good deal or buy a “money pit”.