So you went to the bank and got pre-approved, you and your Realtor found the right property for you and your family and you made the offer. After some back and forth negotiations you and the seller have agreed on terms and conditions and you have entered into a purchase and sale agreement.
Now what? A crucial part of the process is right in front of you. Unless you are buying a newly constructed property... and even if you are, you should still consider having a home inspection conducted on your investment.
Your Realtor or Attorney should have budgeted time into your contract for you as the buyer to do some of these inspections as part of your due diligence. These are contingencies to your purchase and it is important you take the time to confirm you are comfortable with the structure of the home you are about to purchase.
I recently met with Michael Cunningham, a licensed Home Inspector and owner of Great Pro-Specs to elaborate on this extremely important process.
A home inspection is a critical part of the real estate transaction as you are likely spending more on a home purchase than anything else in your life. A home inspection will include an evaluation of all the structural, mechanical, and electrical components of a home. Home inspectors are required to be licensed in Connecticut and have regulator standards which must be met.
The inspection should include the following:
- The exterior. The inspection will include the roof, siding, trim, gutters, drainage, driveway, sidewalk, steps, patio, deck, fencing, and may include out-buildings.
- The plumbing inspection will include an evaluation for leaks, proper drainage, the water heater, and the general condition and age of the components.
- The heating system is evaluated for safe and proper function as well as age, life expectancy, safety components, and proper maintenance.
- The electrical system is evaluated for general condition, proper function of components, and safety hazards.
- The foundation is evaluated for structural condition, leaks, and water control systems such as sumps.
- The framing is inspected for structural damage from modifications, moisture damage, and wood destroying insect damage from termites, carpenter ants, and beetles.
- The interior ceiling, wall, and floor coverings are inspected as well as interior and exterior doors and windows.
- Most inspectors evaluate appliances for proper function.
- The attic is inspected for roof leaks, structural damage, proper ventilation, and adequate insulation.
- Many mortgage lenders require a wood destroying insect inspection. Some home inspectors will have the required license for performing that inspection.
- Additionally, most inspectors will perform well flow tests and perform radon testing and water sampling for water quality testing by a laboratory.
- Most inspectors will identify suspected asbestos containing materials, the presence of a mold condition, and address potential lead paint hazards. When hiring a home inspector, consider such factors as their years of experience as an inspector and in related fields.
Report formats will vary with some available more quickly and some easier to read. Some inspectors are more inclined to have you participate in the inspection and will provide information to you regarding safety improvements, up-grades, and maintenance information.
In conclusion, all home inspectors have a minimum standard they must meet. With a few simple questions, you may be successful in finding an inspector whose conduct of the inspection and reporting method best meet your needs and style.
As always with all aspects of your transaction, ask your trusted Realtor or Real Estate Broker for referrals and recommendations. We have included some we have found our clients and customers to be happy with on our Web site. You may also find additional resources on some of the following sites; CAHI and NAHI. Feel free to contact me or my staff for questions about this any any other topics that concern you related to your next real estate transaction. You can also follow local trends in Real Estate on our Facebook page... stop by and Like Us!