Last week I talked about potential environmental hazards in your home. I thought a good follow-up topic would be the inspection process. Whether you’re on the buying side or selling side, this can be the most stressful part of a transaction. But it’s also one of the most important. There are several types of inspections one can order but we’ll talk about three most common – structural, radon, and pest.
The structural inspection is conducted by a qualified home inspector who combs through house from basement to roof and checks out all the major components. The intention is not to look for cosmetic issues such as torn screens and worn flooring but the functional components that make a house function properly. They will visually inspect foundations, test the appliances, and so much more I won’t even try to list everything. Once completed will be given an extensive report outlining all that is working as intended, recommendations for future monitoring, minor concerns that may need addressed, and most importantly major concerns that should be looked in to right away. It is important to note the inspection is meant to be an overview and if there are specific issues such as possible foundation concern these should be further evaluated by licensed specialists. If it is mentioned the roof is ‘nearing the end of its usual lifespan’ having a professional roofer inspect further is advised so you have a very true picture of what needs to be done, if anything.
The second is a radon test. Very often the person who does your structural inspection can also perform this test. In a nutshell a monitoring system is left in the lowest finished level of the home for at least 48 hours. While it’s there it pulls air samples and stores them for later evaluation to determine what the average levels are. The report will report from various time periods while set and give an average level in the final report. As I mentioned last week anything below 4.0 is deemed safe by the EPA and if it is above that it’s an easy mitigation.
Lastly is the pest inspection which is the only inspection lenders may require, especially if you’re getting a government backed loan. The lease expensive of the three, they are looking for evidence of active wood destroying insects such as termites and carpenter bees. If found treatment will be required prior to settlement, assuming you are using the standard contract in our MLS area.
Once these inspections are performed, any repairs are negotiated between the parties and the sale carries forward. Remedies can entail certain items being fixed by the sellers, a credit being given to the buyers in order for them to address what’s needed after closing, or sometimes a reduction in the purchase price in lieu of repairs. Regardless of how it’s worked out there are two things you can count on: something will be found, and an agreement can usually be negotiated.
Until next week! Remember to send me any questions you’d like more information on so I don’t have to keep pulling rabbits out of my hat…