A newsletter for REALTORS
What Really Matters?
Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written report, checklist, photographs, environmental reports, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this combined with the seller's disclosure and what you notice yourself makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do?
Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
Things that lead to major defects. A small roof-flashing leak, for example.
Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home.
Safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Don't kill your deal over things that don't matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items.
Jim Boston is the President of Boston Home Inspection, Inc., Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Home Inspection Institute and is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the Chattanooga Association of Realtors (CAR).
Getting A Home Inspection
Story by Calvin Sneed on Tue, Oct 1st 2002 (6:09 PM)
Craig Chisholm wants others to learn from his mistake.. it was only when he tried to sell his house, he found out the homework he should have done BEFORE he bought it..
In the eight years Mr. Chisholm has lived in the house, he's had no roof leaks.. in fact, he says he's had no problems whatsoever with the roof.
But when he put the house on the market, the prospective buyers hired a private inspector to go through the dwelling, including a roof inspection..
What the inspector told him, was shocking..
The roof decking was composed of sheets of Masonite siding.
You heard correctly.. instead of the plywood the Jasper, Tennessee city code requires, the original owner who also built the home had used the SAME masonite siding on the roof under the shingles, as the siding on the outside of the house..
Before Mr. Chisholm could sell the house, the roof would have to be re-done, at a cost of about $6,000..
The builder flat-out refused to pay, and since the statute of limitations on suing homebuilders is seven years, Mr. Chisholm is out of luck..
The masonite decking might have shown up IF there had been a leak BEFORE Mr. Chisholm bought the house. Federal law says repaired leaks have to be disclosed..
Elwynn Schwartz is the president of the Chattanooga Board of Realtors. She says, in the state of Tennessee every homeowner is required to disclose anything they know about a home they're selling.
Anything NOT disclosed on the form, might be discovered in a private home inspection.. she says "for several hundred dollars, you can get a home inpector to come out and inspect the home.
Ms. Schwartz says a home inspector would most likely have caught Mr. Chisholm's masonite roof deck before he bought the house. "The majority of the time, they do pick up on things that are obvious problems that an untrained eye might not know to observe."
Meanwhile, Mr. Chisholm says he's learned a valuable lesson. Always have a home inspector look for things unnoticeable.
The price of a home inspection depends on the size of the property, but they average between 300 and 600 dollars per property.
In many cases, the price of a home inspection can be deducted from the selling price of the house you want to buy.