Imagine buying a dress or a suit, without ever trying it on to see how it fits. What if you had to buy a car without the opportunity of taking a test drive around town or on the interstate? Or what if return policies ceased to exist and you had to keep everything you purchased. I often think about the ‘finality’ of purchasing a home. Sure, you walk through the house for about twenty minutes during a home tour of maybe 7 or 8 other houses. Even if you take excellent notes, there are still some uncertainties that may keep you up at night. You don’t have an opportunity to experience the efficiency of the heating/cooling systems in extreme cold or hot weather. Have the current owners addressed any recalls on major appliances? Does the roof leak? How long has the back corner of the house been missing a downspout and what impact has it had on the foundation?
I realize I may have painted a pretty bleak illustration of some unknowns in the house-buying process. That’s why we will spend a good bit of time discussing one of the largest parts of the house-buying process… inspection contingencies. Inspection contingencies are put in place to protect you, the buyer in the purchase of a home. A home inspection is a powerful tool for homeownership. You’re spending a lot of money on a house that appears to have good curb appeal and nice finishes, but what happens when you start to ‘peel the onion’?
I regularly work with home inspectors, both on the buying and selling side. Their service to the home-buying process is invaluable. When you order the home inspection, the inspector will schedule 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the house, for the inspection. He/she will inspect everything from the grade of the foundation to the roof and everything in between. If you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend meeting the inspector during or shortly after the inspection is performed. This way, the inspector can show you first hand ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’. After the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a very detailed report of the inspection. The report could be pretty overwhelming and may cause you to second guess your decision on the purchase. Keep in mind, your inspector’s job is to identify anything and everything that could be an issue with the house both today and in the future if certain areas are not addressed. I advise my clients to use the inspection report as an ongoing ‘ to-do’ list for areas which require ongoing maintenance. Certainly, if there are areas that are mechanical failures or safety concerns, there may be some negotiations with the seller to address those concerns prior to closing. From a seller’s perspective, there are areas we can address before you list your home to alleviate any unforeseen inspection issues. We will get into that next week.
Until then, Love where you Live. And if you don’t, contact your Local REALTOR®.
Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President