• Saratoga Springs Real Estate Agent

Caveat Emptor – “Let the Buyer Beware”

Jan 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Articles
Carbone Reality

Let The Buyer Beware.

When buying a home, it’s a very good idea to get a home inspection before you close your purchase and take possession of the home. It’s not uncommon for a lender to include a home inspection as a condition in your purchase agreement.

Once your offer has been accepted and approved, you should schedule your home inspection within the next 10 days.  Ask your real estate agent to refer a few inspectors for you to choose from.  Many times agent s and inspectors have established relationships from working with other clients on past purchases.

Once you have selected an inspector, you will need to choose which type of inspections to have done.  It is always suggested and encouraged to have Structural, Wood Destroying Pest, and possibly Radon Gas if the home is located in an area where Radon is prevalent. (see Radon blog)

If a buyer can attend the inspection in person, or walk through the house with the inspector shortly after the inspection is completed, the inspector can point out to him or her what they’ve found. An inspection of the home can cost anywhere from $300 to $400, typically takes 2 to 3 hours and should include a thorough inspection of the following:

Foundation: How is the structural integrity of the foundation? Is there any evidence of cracks, shifting, or moisture problems?

General Construction: How is the quality of the general construction?

Exterior: Is the house in need of exterior repairs or maintenance?

Plumbing: How is the condition of the overall plumbing system? Any evidence of leaks or water pressure problems?

Electrical: Do any dangerous electrical situations exist? Are there apparent code violations in the electrical system?

Heating and Cooling Systems: What are the ages of the systems? Are the systems adequate for the size of the house? Have they been maintained properly?

Interior: Do doors and windows open and close properly? Are floors firm and level?

Kitchen: Are appliances functioning properly? Is the plumbing, including the dishwasher connection, in good repair?

Baths: Is the floor solid? Are there any evidence of previous or current water leaks? Is the plumbing in good repair?

Attached structures: What is the condition of any attached structure (sheds, decks, garages, etc.)

Roof: What is the approximate age of the roof? What is the estimated remaining life of the roof? What is the condition of the roofing structure as well as the shingles?

Following the inspection, the inspector will provide a detailed report of their findings.  This report can be used to negotiate any major defects found during the inspection.  A major defect is a defect that will cost $1500 or more to correct.  Depending on the nature of the issue, the buyer and seller can negotiate who will take responsibility for correcting the issue or any credits to be given at closing to correct the defect.  The report can also serve as a “To Do” list of minor issues and concerns the homeowner can take care of once they take possession of the home after closing.  Depending on how “handy” you are, many of the smaller issues can be taken care of without hiring professional help.

If there are several things found during the inspection that are major concerns for the buyer, they will have to decide whether or not they wish to move forward with the purchase.

The phrase “Buyer Beware” exists for a reason.  Purchasing a home will most likely be the biggest purchase one makes in their lifetime, so it would be foolish to buy a home without having a thorough inspection performed.

Your new home should be made into a comfortable and warm environment…feeling comfortable about buying it is the first step.

(PICTURE CREDIT: http://www.inventions-guide.com)

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