What You Need to Know About Home Inspections and Your Realtor, 12 Majo…

Buyers take precautions to protect your most precious investment when buying real estate, especially if you are single and a first time buyer.

You have made the decision to buy a condo or home. You think you have enough money to put a down payment on the character.

Now you have to find the real estate agent to take care of all of your needs. How are you going to find the person that meets your needs? The best way is having someone referred to you. What if that option is not obtainable?

You start searching MLS for similarities and locations. You call the realtor on the listing. The realtor engages you and now you are hooked into that realtor for your needs. STOP THERE!

You need to interview a realtor, asking the right questions. You need to know you have someone who is looking out for you, not his or her commission. Someone who will not rush you by a buying course of action, with limited showings and indicates you make an offer within viewing 3-5 similarities. Your realtor needs to work with your timeline and know that you are happy with your decision. If you have doubts about a character-go with your instinct or make sure you do due diligence. ASK QUESTIONS!!! Don’t allow for vague answers. Get a Home Inspection.

The first thing a realtor should ask you-Will you need a mortgage? If you answer yes-the next questions should be: Have you met with a mortgage specialist? Has the mortgage specialist qualified you for a specific amount of lending funds? If you answer no-stop looking for a home until you know exactly how much you can provide. It is a waste of time for you and the realtor until that mortgage qualification is completed.

Once you have chosen a character, either a condo or a home-have a home inspection. Ask the realtor if you should have a home inspection? If the answer is no-get a new realtor. A realtor should never advise a client against a home inspection unless the character you are buying is going to be completely torn down. An Agreement of buy and Sale should contain a clause for a home inspection. If you waive the right to home inspection, cross the clause by and initial the change. be very clear on why you are waiving the home inspection before you sign off. That way both you and the realtor are very clear on your decision. If there is ever a problem after closing there can never be an issued of “he said, she said”.

If the house or condo has been recently renovated, don’t be deceived that everything is great because you see shiny floors, new cabinets, new kitchen, new appliances, renovated bathrooms, etc. This is the time you especially need that home inspection.

Never use a pre-inspection report by the current homeowner as the report you rely on. Never use a friend or relative who claims to have knowledge in what to look for. already if the person is a builder, don’t rely on the information. This is not an area that you should penny-pinch on.

Your home inspector should be a member of the National Home Inspector’s Association. These inspectors must be qualified to do a thorough inspection. Make sure they have insurance for the report they give. It is always best to hire your own qualified inspector so they have a liability to you if there are any errors in the report, items that were missed or items that should have been taken more seriously to help you make a wise decision in purchasing the home. A Home Inspector is not qualified to offer you an opinion of value on the home, only the estimated costs to repair what they see is wrong.

If you are moving into an area that is known to have termites, carpenter ants or other insects that can cause harm to the home, it is best to use additional on a specialist over and above the regular home inspector. Having the drains, both inside and outside, checked in addition is a great idea.. This is not part of a regular home inspection.

Things to be aware of:

1. Asbestos-if being removed can cause a health risk if not done professionally

-asbestos wrapped pipes,

-asbestos ceiling tiles,

-asbestos floor tiles are often hid under the basement broadloom. If not being removed they often present no health danger, but you should be aware they are there.

-asbestos drywall.

2. attic insulation is up to regulation.

3. renovations done to the home had work permits-this can be checked at City Hall.

4. make sure a licensed electrician did all electrical work.

5. interior structural changes; If the home was changed to open concept, you want to know that the structural beams hidden behind the dry wall are supporting the floors properly.

6. moisture behind drywall in the basement can cause mould.

7. wood around the base of the exterior of the home is not touching soil against the house

8 termites

9. carpenter ants

10. electrical not done to code

11. plumbing not installed correctly

12. roof venting

Latent Defects. You want to make sure you are not surprised by them after you have moved in. Your realtor has to ask questions. Avoidance is not an excuse for not knowing.

If you are buying a condo-you should also get a home inspection. You want to know that the electrical, plumbing, airflow, heating, windows and other mechanicals are working efficiently. Some of theses items are not repaired by the condo association and could be a major expense you did not count on after closing. Some condo fees do not include the water heater and the heating/cooling system. You are responsible for their repair.

Don’t rush into a hasty Agreement of buy and Sale, such as a multiple offer on a home. Make sure it is all right from the beginning. Not doing your due diligence can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair and many months of having to live in other places while the work is being done.

Buying a home is a very emotional. This is probably the biggest investment you will make. make sure your realtor is working on your behalf. Get a home inspection by a qualified home inspector who is a Member of the Home Inspectors Association. Take your time, do it right.

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