Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Your Home Inspection

Posted in Inspections by Jeff Dowler on October 9, 2006

One of the critical things you will want to do when you are purchasing a new home is to have a home inspection (read more and find a certified home inspector). There are a number of different inspections you can have, depending on your concerns about the condition of the property. The home inspection allows you to learn about any defects that might exist, the potential for future issues, and to become better educated about taking care of the property (e.g., the mechanical, heating, electrical, plumbing systems). While an inspection is NOT required, it is highly recommended so that you fully understand the current condition of the property, and can make an informed decision about buying or not.

Typically, an offer is made conditional upon the home inspection (here, in California, there is a separate form that buyers complete to notify the sellers of all the inspections the buyer intends to complete); most inspectors will tell you that there are ALWAYS issues of some sort, even in brand new construction. What is important is understanding what you are buying, and your willingness to buy the home in the current condition. If there are problems revelaed through the inspection, you may request to negotiate repairs or money in lieu of repairs; the seller may or may not be amenable to this, and you will need to decide if you wish to proceed, knwoing what you know.

A home inspector will look at the basic structure of the home, the roof, and all the systems (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hearing/AC). Some are also qualified to examine for mold, radon, asbestos and wood-boring pests, among other issues (here in California a pest inspection is done by the seller and a report is furnished to you as part of the due diligence process). You can also, if you choose, have a professional to inspect the roof, chimney, heating/AC, plumbing, structure, water/well, among other things. These inspections are optional and are paid for by the buyer. Don’t expect to have an inspection that is without problems, since that is unrealistic, but you will want to understand what the issues are how to fix them.

You may receive your home inspection report in a variety for formats, depending on your inspector. In addition to verbal discussion, som will provide you a written report on the spot. Others will email a PDF with the report, or you can log on to a website to view your report. No matter what the format is, you should read these in detail and ask any questions, before you decide how to proceed. Your agent can be helpful, but keep in mind your agent is NOT an inspector and cannot provide expert guidance with regard to inspectional issues.


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