Home Inspections

By now, nearly everyone knows that you need to conduct home inspections when purchasing a new property.  There are many reasons for this;

  1. Some mortgage lenders require an inspection.  At the very least a termite inspection.
  2. Having a professional, non-biased, non-agent perspective on the shortcomings of the house can help you to look at your new home or rental property with a new set of eyes.
  3. Inspections can create a “to do” list for the buyer.
  4. Inspections can help you to re-negotiate the purchasing price of the house you are buying if the circumstances warrant.

I’m sure a good, professional home and/or termite inspector could give you more reasons.  But what does a home inspection consist of?  Here is an incomplete list of inspections you could choose to do when still inside the Inspection Period of a property you have under contract;

  • Electrical, mechanical and plumbing (“Whole house” done by a generalist.)
  • Termite
  • Radon
  • Structural (Better hire a specialist here.)
  • Insurance history
  • Roof
  • Chimney
  • Lead based paint
  • Air conditioning/heating by licensed HVAC guy/gal

Those are some of the more common inspections that I see buyers and investors conduct.  But there may be other items you wish to check on;

  • Flood zone
  • Sex offenders list for neighborhood
  • School boundaries  (Verify.  Trust me.)
  • Zoning
  • Development plans for surrounding area

If you are going to be purchasing the property for rental property purposes;

  • Verify rent survey
  • Get as much information about tenants as possible
  • Check with city regarding upcoming “special” taxes
  • Verify HOA allows rentals

I want to emphasize this is not an all encompassing list.  But it should help you to get to thinking and prioritizing.  It may not be economically feasible to do every inspection possible.  Depends on your situation.  Good luck and feel free to add items in the comments section.


Filed under Misc. Real Estate

2 responses to “Home Inspections

  1. Chris, inspections are so important. Very often the purchase contract the buyer signs states that the buyer has the opportunity and responsibility to conduct its own inspection of the property and failing to do so might be considered a waiver of future claims. So, if the buyer does not get an inspection and later runs into serious problems with the property, tough stuff. Buyer had its chance. Obviously, each contract and situation is unique, especially when the seller has made specific representations, but as a real estate attorney I see too many ridiculously preventable problems had the buyer simply had the property inspected.

    Buying without an inspection is very risky, especially with so much money at stake.

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