So you picked out your dream home, arranged for financing for your loan, and fell in love with the neighborhood. Everything is good to go for the real estate closing of your dreams. All that lies in the way is that pesky home inspection. That is just a formality, right? Well, not quite.
Why Get a Home Inspection?
The biggest question people ask when buying a new home is how they know the roof will not collapse, or whether there is mold in the walls, or whether termites are eating up the interior. This is a big concern because, when you buy a home, the notion is one of “buyer beware.” Once property is closed upon, there is almost no way to stick the old owner with the bill for any repairs or defects in the property.
Unfortunately, disputes about the condition of purchased property after closing are huge areas of costly post-closing lawsuits. In order to give buyers some peace of mind, most real estate contracts provide for the right to a home inspection—your right as the buyer to hire an expert to inspect the property for any and all types of problems.
Inspectors can reveal roof damage, insect infestation, plumbing problems, foundation cracks and irregularities, electrical problems, and a whole host of other things that could pose problems right now or down the road. Most real estate contracts allow buyers to get out of the contract if an inspector finds significant potential problems with property. That makes the inspection a vital part of the home buying process.
Even new construction needs inspection. Many buyers are under the mistaken belief that, because property is new, there are no problems, or the developer will pay for any problems later on. This simply is not true—new construction requires inspection as much as older construction.
Getting an Effective Inspection
There are things you can do to make sure you get an effective inspection. If you can, you should always go along with the inspector on the inspection. This gives you a first person view of potential problems and a better idea of what it will take to fix them. You should also get an idea of what it may cost to fix any problems the inspector finds. Some problems are small fixes and easy to deal with. Others may require such high expenses to fix so as to make them deal breakers.
Remember that you as the buyer get to pick the inspector. Do not let anyone tell you who you “must” use as an inspector. Find an inspector with whom you are comfortable, regardless of cost. This is not an area to skimp on.
If your inspector reveals significant problems, there are usually ways to get out of the real estate contract. However, many buyers prefer simply to negotiate a lowered purchase price in return for accepting the property with the defect. A good inspection can give you leverage at the bargaining table when it comes to price.
Are you buying property? An experienced real estate attorney can guide you through each step of the process and advise you if there are problems. Contact The Slater Firm LTD, a real estate law firm familiar with the closing process, to discuss your situation and make sure your closing is safe and simple.