Congratulations on buying your first home! You have years of happy memories ahead. Or, at least you should. However, you may discover numerous problems after moving in that the seller neglected to mention: a leaky basement, bedbugs, and problematic plumbing.
Home Inspections Before You Buy
You can avoid this worst case scenario by having a professional home inspector check out the property before you close. Otherwise, you’ll need Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to represent you during the ensuing claim.
1) Can’t I Trust the Seller?
Maybe, but you shouldn’t rely on their word alone. Most jurisdictions require sellers to disclose material defects to anyone interested in buying the property. This means that a seller cannot conceal asbestos, lead paint, and a bad roof during the negotiations.
However, in many cases this disclosure requirement doesn’t extend to lesser issues that may still affect your decision. Don’t simply assume that everyone will abide by the disclosure requirements. You must have the property inspected and make your actual purchase of the house contingent upon the results of the inspection.
2) How Detailed Should the Inspection Be?
Buyers are entitled to inspect the property and have a professional sweep through it for issues. During your inspection of the house, don’t drop a litany of complaints on the seller.
You shouldn’t be trying to cancel a deal because you don’t like the paint in the bathroom or demanding that the seller go room to room changing lightbulbs. The purpose of the inspection is not to make sure every square inch of the home is absolutely perfect. Instead, you are trying to find serious defects.
If, like most real estate purchasers, you are not a professional home inspector, then you must hire one to examine any house you’re thinking about buying. Do not simply rely on the fact that the seller hired an inspector who said the property is in sufficient shape.
There are more than a few “seller-friendly” inspectors who will not provide a truly independent assessment of the house’s condition. A competent inspector, hired by you, will look for any material defects and make sure that you really know what you’re about to buy.
3) Get the Best!
Do your homework when hiring inspectors. If your state requires a license for home inspection, then make sure your inspector is licensed. Otherwise, look to see if the inspector belongs to some other group that holds them to a quality standard.
In addition, make sure that special defects are inspected by properly licensed professionals. For example, an opinion on particular types of toxic mold from a licensed specialist.
Physical defects are the most obvious issue that can arise with a property you’re planning to purchase, but also the most important. Keep in mind that there are other important matters that should also receive a thorough inspection, especially that seller’s title.
Make sure you do all your homework before putting the money into a real estate purchase. If you make sure to get all the proper inspections don, you should be confident that you’re buying a solid house.