Realtor 101: Home Inspections
When you find the home of your dreams and your offer is accepted it is crucial to get the home inspected!
To help you with the process and put your mind at ease I’m going to guide you through the step by step process and show you how to resolve certain issues. I understand buying a home can be stressful and the unknown can be terrifying.
I’ve recently been working with a lot of first time buyers and I completely understand the uncertainty of receiving your very first home inspection report. Let your Realtor guide you and comfort you as they’ve most likely seen these issues arise before, don’t panic.
A typical inspection can last anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the size and condition of the home. In this time your reputable inspectior will check everything from crawl space (under the home), attic, appliances, structure, plumbing, electrical and anything else you can think of.
Once the inspection is complete you’ll usually receive the report back within 24 hours. We strongly advise going over the report with either your Realtor and/or inspector. With any home including a brand new home you’re going to have issues so please be prepared for anything and everything. There is an answer and fix for every issue in most cases so stay positive.
Once you have identified the issues speak with your Realtor and provide them with your top 3 priorities that you would like resolved. In most cases you can renegotiate or receive a concession for repairs at closing. Work as a team with your Realtor, research and use your initiative to get estimates to fix the issues and submit them to the listing agent.
Checklist- Your key issues to look for:
Electrical- some older homes may need a re-wire or clean up. If there is aluminum wire in the home this will need to be rectified for insurance issues.
Plumbing- Keep your eye out for Polybutylene pipes, if you find this in the home there is a large possibility the home will have to be re-plumbed. This kind of piping is very brittle and an insurance issue, beware and talk to you Realtor.
Roof- There are two different kinds of roofs tile and shingle. Usually with shingle you’ll get 15-20 years and tile/ slate 40-50 years. Make sure you ask your Realtor to find out the age of the roof prior to the inspection.
A/C- Once again ask your Realtor to check the date of the A/C units inside and out.
Water Heater- Check the age but usually can be replaced for under $1000.
Structure & Framing- Speak with you inspector, if there is any major doubt in the structure then please identify if the home is worth pursuing.
Termite- Hire a termite inspector to inspect the home for any signs of termites. In Florida there are two types of termite subterranean and dry wood. In some cases the subject home might even have a termite bond which is transferable to you, this way you know you’re protected. If there is any signs of live termite then I recommend asking the seller to fix this issues before you close.
Your termite inspector will also look for any signs of WDO (Wood destroying organisms) or wood rot. This is usually not a huge issue and can fixed with putty’s, epoxies and a trip to your local hardware store.
To summarize stay confident and trust your team, speak with your Realtor and inspector for suggestions. There is no such thing as a perfect house so prioritize, be realistic and identify the key safety issues and adjust them.