You might think that all inspections are the same, but some companies are definitely better than others. You want to make sure that you choose a company that is going to do a thorough inspection. They should be checking all the outlets, ceiling fans, sinks, bathtubs, plumbing that is visible, heating and air conditioning system, the roof, siding, sidewalk, gutters, chimney, appliances, etc. They will also check for moisture and termites. They will go into the crawl space and make note of anything that needs further inspection by a termite and moisture company. More on this at the end. The list goes on an on of what they inspect. Some items that come up in their report are essential items that need to be taken care of right away while others are minor and can wait.
When you go to the home inspection, depending on the company you should plan to be there for 2-4 hours. If you bring small children, be sure to bring something for them to do and snacks.
The company that I love using is Safe House. They are extremely thorough. Not only do they do home inspections, but they also will have all your utilities turned on for you and if your roof has a small leak within 5 years of buying your home they will fix it for FREE. If you have small children, they will also provide a certificate deeming the home “Monster Free.” How cool is that? Also, they will bring chairs for you to sit in as well as snacks. They come with a 2-4 man team and are able to get a home inspection done in half the time as other companies (or less) Also, you get the report within 30 minutes of the home inspection by e-mail.
Termite and Moisture
The company you hire should check for termite and moisture, however, they are not the specialists, so another company will come in and do the termite and moisture inspection. It is a good idea to do the termite and moisture inspection prior to the property inspection, especially if there is a crawl space. A termite and moisture inspection is approximately $75 whereas a home inspection is approximately $400. If there are major termite and moisture issues then you may decide not to buy the home without wasting the $400 for the home inspection. Make sure whatever needs done with the termite and moisture is agreed upon in writing if it’s major and a deal breaker for you. In the contract, there is often a 1% cap of the purchase price for moisture and termite, appraisal, and walk through items. If you have a crawl space, it might be a good idea to ask for a 2% cap to protect yourself. Another options is to include it in the property inspection contingency so that you can request additional work there that exceeds the 1% cap. While your agent should know all of this (hopefully that’s me), you want to make sure that you can ask for whatever repairs are necessary.
There are other inspections that you may elect to do such as a full chimney, pool, hot tub, well or any other specialty item not covered by the regular home inspection.
When you decide to sell your home, you do have the option of doing a home inspection up front so you can anticipate any needed repairs. If a buyer does a home inspection, they may request all licensed contractors to complete any items that come up in the home inspection, even if they are minor which can cost you a lot more money than a home inspection. If you do the home inspection and can address most of the issues yourself, you will save yourself money in the long run and rest assured knowing that all issues have been taken care of. A person could do a home inspection and decide that they do not want to ask for most of the items, but if the home inspection is unsatisfactory, they do have the option of walking away from the contract and getting their earnest money deposit back. I would always recommend a seller to get a home inspection themselves, although it is not required. If you do this with a reputable company, fix the known issues, and have a reinspection, this could be something that helps sell your home because the buyer can feel confident in knowing that no major issues will come up should they still decide to do their own home inspection. This also applies to the termite and moisture inspection.
One difference between the termite and moisture inspection and a property inspection is that it can be stated in the contract that the seller can choose the company to do the termite and moisture inspection and pay for it, whereas the property inspection is done by the buyer’s company and at the buyer’s expense (unless you do one up front of course).
I hope that I was able to give you some valuable information on property inspections but if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask. I’m only a phone call, text or email away.
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