Inspections are a critical part of a transaction whether you are a buyer or a seller.
As a seller, it is beneficial for you to complete inspections before you place your home on the market. It’s a good idea to know the condition of your home, so you can have a realistic idea of the work that the buyer will need to take on. And in some cases, there may be some fixes that you can do to take the burden off of buyers, making your home more attractive to a wider range of potential buyers. Some buyers may not have the funds to do necessary renovations and fixes after paying closing costs for the home purchase, or may simply not want the headache. Some buyers are investors and may be looking for a potential “flip” property, but this is a smaller sector of the market and majority of buyers looking to purchase as a primary residence.
As a buyer, if the seller has not already completed inspections on a home that you are interested in, it is your right to be able to perform inspections (whether the seller will make any fixes is another story – more info in my upcoming “Contingencies” blog post).
Here are some of the most common inspections performed:
1) Property Inspection – this inspection is the most thorough of them all, hence the reason for the generalized “Property Inspection” or “Home Inspection” name. A property inspector will inspect things such as plumbing, electrical, appliances, water heater, HVAC, check for leaks, functionality of windows, mechanical garage door, cracks in cement, and list of other items.
2) Termite Inspection – A termite inspector will look for both subterranean termites (these termites build their nests underground) and dry wood termites (these termites do not need soil moisture – they infest dry wood such as siding, eaves, cornices, and walls). Depending on the type of termite and severity of the infestation, the inspector will recommend tenting of the entire structure, spot treatment for a localized area, or other treatment. A termite inspector will also look for evidence of mold or fungus, because the same moisture sources that cause fungal wood decay can encourage termite infestation.
3) Roof Inspection – Roof inspectors will inspect the condition and functionality of the roof structure, eaves, and gutters. If you know the roof has been replaced fairly recently, say within the past couple years, you may elect to not do an inspection. In most cases, the property inspector will take a basic look at the roof and let you know the general condition. They may report back that the roof has say 15-20+ years worth of life left, or they may recommend a full roof inspection to be done. So depending on your knowledge of how old the roof is (usually you can find this out from the current owner), and what the general property inspector reports back, you can decide whether you want to perform a roof inspection.
You may elect to perform other more specialized inspections depending on the subject property. Here are some examples:
Foundation inspection: If the subject property falls into any of these circumstances you may want to consider a foundation inspection: A) if the house is 50+ years in age, B) if you visually see or feel some sloping or uneven flooring when walking through the home, C) if the house is on a sloped hill or within very close proximity to a body of water, or D) if the property inspector notices a defect that may have been caused by a failing foundation, and recommends a specialized foundation inspection to be done.
Chimney Inspection: If the home has a fireplace, you may want to consider a chimney inspection. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed 3 levels of chimney inspections. It is important to check chimney liners for maintenance and creosote build up. Over time, creosote, which is highly flammable, coasts the chimney flue and, if ignited, can create a chimney fire. Chimney fires burn at very high temperatures and may spread to the rest of the house.
Pool inspection: If the subject home has a pool, you’ll want to have a pool inspector check out the many components that help the pool function. These consist of the interior finish, the pump, the filter, the heater (if applicable), diving board, and of course making sure the pool complies with local safety regulations.
These are just a few among the many inspections that may be appropriate for your subject home, depending on its age, location, amenities, and current condition. Costs of these inspections can vary depending on your local market.
Please contact me for any questions! I can recommend qualified and reputable local inspectors, help analyze the report findings, and assist with obtaining quotes for work that may need to be done.
REALTOR ®, BRE #01950753