There are many steps in the home buying process, even after the contract has been signed. Many real estate agents would agree getting a signed contract is only half the battle. Then you have a month or two to get everything lined up and approved before the deed can be transferred.
Among the many to-dos are inspections. Which inspections will be needed depends on the financing method, condition of the home and preference of the buyers. When you’re writing up an offer on a home keep in mind which inspections may be needed and what they’re likely to find.
Inspections are needed so that you get a better idea of the true condition of a home. Some homebuyers may balk at ponying up $400-500 for a home inspection, but it’s a sound investment for the peace of mind alone.
You can also use the home inspection as a negotiating point. Always have the home inspection completed at least a few days before the contingency period is up. That way you can go over the findings and decide if you want to ask the seller for repairs or a reduction on the price. If a major fix is needed this is often suggested.
While lenders don’t require a home inspection, they will require a pest inspection if there’s a termite report or signs of destructive insects. It’s too risky to let the condition slide if there’s any possibility of an infestation. FHA and VA loans also typically require that a pest inspection be done before the deal can close.
Experts at Joshua’s Pest Control, a leading San Diego pest control company, note that the pest inspection will be based on the local area. Focus will be on looking for destructive bugs as well as regional pests that pose the biggest problems. The technician will note their findings and recommendations for remedying any problems after completing the inspection.
The costs can vary from one inspection company to the next so do your research. Building a relationship with one or two local pest control companies is a good idea. You may be able to get a discount if you send the company enough business. Rapport building can also help if you need a last minute inspection due to lender requirements.
If the home inspector found questionable spots around the foundation you may need a follow-up inspection. Foundation inspectors specialize in assessing the condition of a home’s foundation based on the type of foundation a home has, how level the floors are and any damage that can be seen. Damage from the foundation can be found all over the home:
- · Cracks on the slab
- · Cracks at the edges of windows
- · Doors that won’t shut properly or sit flush
- · Windows that are difficult to open
- · Baseboards popping loose
- · Cracks on the wall
The foundation inspection will also note if work has been done before and whether that work had a warranty. This is a time to explain the risks to your homebuyers and honestly discuss whether there are current problems that need attention. If the foundation is under warranty make sure the company is going to honor it. In all other cases, it’s best to renegotiate the price or have the seller pay for the foundation fix.
We are all aware that the majority of homebuyers have to secure a mortgage. That means they’ll have to pay for a few expert inspections and an appraisal is one of them. In a single assessment, an appraiser can make or break a real estate deal that took months to put together.
Due to changes in regulations regarding how appraisers are picked, you can no longer select who does the appraisal. But it doesn’t hurt to get to know the local appraisers in your area. Go to every appraisal possible so you can meet the appraiser face to face. Get to know them and pour over their reports. It will tell you a lot about what they consider valuable. Use this information to stage the home and play up certain features before the appraisal.
Other Types of Inspections You May Come Across
These inspections aren’t as common as the ones noted above, but they could occur from time to time.
- · Lead Paint Inspection – For home built before 1978
- · Chimney Inspection
- · Pool and/or Spa Inspection
- · Roof Inspection
- · Electrical Inspection
- · Soil Stability Testing
- · Asbestos Testing
- · Mold Inspection
- · Septic System or Sewer Inspection
- · Heating and Cooling System Inspection
- · Electrical Inspection
A general home inspection is often needed to determine if additional inspections are warranted. Just one more reason to schedule the home inspection as soon as the contract is signed.