Jacksonville Review – September 2016

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. A home inspection is an inexpensive way to find out about the overall condition of the home. It is important to conduct a home inspection to avoid a costly mistake by purchasing a property that needs major repairs.

A home inspection typically starts at the roof and ends at the foundation, and inspects every major house system, including the structure, exterior, roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, interior, insulation ventilation, and often wood-destroying organisms/insects. Once the inspection is completed, the inspector will provide the buyer with a report suggesting any improvements or repairs deemed necessary to bring the home up-to current standards.

When home inspections reveal problems that could be very expensive to repair, such as major structural defects, buyers need to evaluate whether they are deal-breakers. Some repair items can be used as a great tool in negotiations with the seller. The buyer can potentially negotiate a credit with the sellers, have the seller pay for repairs before the closing, purchase the home as-is, or walk away from the purchase if the issues seem too problematic. It’s customary for sellers to fix items that either interfere with the proper function of the home, or pose some kind of safety risk. For example, you should always ask for repairs to faulty electrical systems, a sink disposal that doesn’t work, etc. You may want to consider handling minor items yourself to avoid hard feelings with the seller.

Several other common inspections to do may be well-water testing, septic tank testing, or a pool inspection.

If at all possible, it is recommended to attend the home inspection. This is a valuable educational opportunity as the home inspector goes through the home summarizing the major items that were found during the inspection process. Never pass-up the chance to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.

A seller of a home may also request a home inspection before the home is put on the market, to assist in setting a price and to correct any issues before it’s on the market. It is also helpful to have the report available for buyers informing them of the condition of the house and the items that they have taken care of.