Buying a home can be a daunting process. Buyers commonly view dozens of homes and the traits and qualities of the building can become blurred in the mind. Industry terms such as stainless steel fabrication for sure would have scared a lot of people away in doing building inspections themselves.
Investing in home is often the biggest purchase a buyer will ever make. Purchasing a home with hidden problems creates what is commonly called a “money pit.” This type of home requires a large investment in time and money to solve problems. While some do-it-yourselfers prefer a home that allows them to make repairs, most people will want to know what problems they will face.
The Building Inspectors Job
Building inspectors are called upon before the sale is finalized and perform a thorough inspection of the home. This includes inspecting the heating and cooling system, plumbing, foundations, windows and every other part of the home. The inspection will note any deficiencies that may require repairs or replacement. The inspection should also note any structural problems that may actually pose a danger to the occupants.
The inspector issues a report on the condition of the home. It should list both the positives and the negatives about the structure and included appliances. Any problems should be listed in detail allowing the buyer to understand the problems and determine the possible costs associated with remedies.
Using the Report
A problem noted in the building inspectors report does not always end the sale. Instead, it allows the buyer to make an informed decision on the purchase. If the building inspectors report includes a notation that the water heater, for example, is near failure that cost can be factored into the purchase price. The information in the building inspectors report can become a factor in the negotiations of the final sales price. In other circumstances, the seller may be obligated to make the repairs noted in the report before the sale is finalized.
Why Hire an Inspector
Some of the problems an inspector may spot can be expensive to remedy. For example, a new furnace might be necessary if the homes current furnace has a problem like a cracked heat exchanger. Replacing a furnace shortly after moving into the home can be a budget buster. Problems such as a decaying foundation or failing support structures can actually result in a home that is uninhabitable. These are all things that the perspective owner should know before signing the final purchase documents.
In some situations, the seller is obligated to make repairs identified in the building inspection report. Some repairs are obvious. For example, the buyer can look at the water heater and see if it has been replaced. Other repairs may be more difficult to identify. Repairs to rafters or the foundation, for example, may be more difficult to identify and confirm. In these situations, the building inspector may
make a follow up inspection to confirm the problems have been solved.
Written by Lachlan Gadd