You found the perfect home, your offer was accepted by the seller, and now it is inspection time! Home inspections are very important during the home buying process. Your certified home inspector is quite skilled at discovering underlying problems with a structure.
If at all possible, make sure you are present with the inspector when he or she is going over the house. Inspectors are great at explaining all of the little features of the house, especially when it comes to the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
In addition to any problems your inspector may discover, he or she will also be able to show you where your water shut off valves are located. Knowing where your shut off valves are located is extremely important in case one of your plumbing fixtures, or pipes, suddenly sprouts a leak. For example, if your dishwasher ever decides to start flooding your floor you will know exactly where to go, and what to do, to turn the water off and minimize the water damage.
If your inspector does find a problem with the home you are buying, they usually have several ideas on how to correct the situation. If there are only a few problems and they are relatively minor, you may elect to correct the problems yourself after you move in. If your inspector finds a major problem, you may need to discuss this at length with your real estate agent. Regardless of whether any items are minor or major, your home inspector will give you a detailed report of all of the problems, and potential problems, that they discovered during the home inspection process.
A major problem with the home is usually addressed in a repair addendum. The repair addendum is simply a list of defects that were discovered during the inspection process. The addendum is written up by the buyers real estate agent and signed by the buyer. The repair addendum is then delivered to the sellers real estate agent who delivers and discusses the addendum with the seller.
At this point, the buyer waits for a brief time, usually a day or two, while the seller considers whether to make the requested repairs, refuse to make the requested repairs, or offer money off of the price of the home, if the buyer will accept the house as it is. In most cases you can come to some type of arrangement with the seller regarding any problems you discovered in the house.
Occasionally, there is some sort of problem with the house that seems overwhelming to both the buyer and the seller. If no mutually agreeable compromise can be reached, the buyer usually has the option of walking away from the house and ending the contract of sale. Hopefully, this does not happen to you.
Buying a house is an exciting adventure and a huge financial investment. Unless there is some underlying circumstance that prevents it, always get a home inspection of any improved real estate you are considering buying. The price of a home inspection is miniscule when compared to the price of a new roof, or some other major home repair. Do yourself a favor, don’t skip the home inspection.