A formal property inspection is a normal part of a real estate transaction. Typically, buyers will include an inspection contingency with their offer, once the offer is accepted, the buyer has between 1 and 10 days to formally "inspect" the property.
I always advise my clients to hire a professional home inspector to give them a comprehensive report on the property. The items found on the inspection can be used to walk away from the property if necessary without any damage, negotiate the price down, or at the very least, help plan for major home maintenance needs later.
Below I offer the big ticket items I watch for when representing buyers on a transaction.
What to Watch for on a Home Inspection
The #1 items I advise my clients to consider is the electrical system. Electrical problems are very difficult and expensive to repair later, a major issue found in the electrical system can be grounds to walk from the deal or negotiate major discount. I've successfully negotiated a complete re-wire at the Seller's expense in the past, but every transaction is a case by case.
The #2 item we watch for is the Roof. Most roofs come with a 20 to 30 year warranty, but only if they are properly maintained! We will know if the seller has properly maintained the roof by what we find on the inspection report. Often, we'll find the roof is in good shape, but we still want to know the particulars, such as the type of roof, any trouble areas / areas that require additional attention, and the expected remaining life of the roof.
Finally, the plumbing system. We want to know about any and all current leaks or previous leak issues, how old the system is, and what if any issues might pop up in the future. A plumbing issue can create way more problems than just the plumbing itself including drywall repair, mold or dry rot in the floors or walls. A good home inspector will have a moisture meter, so they are able to find any leaks that may exist behind walls or floors. Most commonly, these are found in bathrooms under the toilet or behind the shower walls. These repairs are relatively cheap compared to the disaster that may occur!
Erika Richter | Real Estate Broker