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Understanding Home Inspections

Buying a home is very exciting, but it is not a fast or easy process. One of the most important steps to take when you purchase a home is getting an inspection. Use this timeline, tips, and advice to make sure you understand home inspections and end up with your dream home!

Watch Out For Red Flags When Touring Houses

One of the first steps after you meet with your real estate agent at The Degnan Group is to begin touring the homes on the market. There are many problems to keep an eye out for when you do.

Check the roof for warped, cracked, or missing shingles, and the attic for swollen or soft wood, which are signs of leaks. Next, take a close look at the foundation. Some of the biggest red flags are cracks, sloping, or doorways that stick or jam, all of which can be expensive to repair.

Also, don’t forget about the electricity and sewage. Listen for buzzing appliances, look for flickering lights, and touch the outlets to make sure they are not warm. When you’re in the home, spend some extra time in the bathrooms. Listen to the toilet after it flushes to make sure it doesn’t run and inspect the area at the base of the toilets and the sinks for signs of water damage, erosion, or discoloration from leaks.

Choose the Right Inspector

If you’re ready to make an offer on a home and haven’t seen these glaring warning signs, it’s time to choose the inspector. Buying a home is a big investment, and choosing the cheapest inspector you can find is a big mistake.

Instead, do your research, read reviews, ask about their certifications, training, and background in the field. Your realtor at The Degnan Group can also recommend top-of-the-line inspectors in the field. Once you’re confident that you’ve found the right fit, it’s time to make an offer on the home. After the contract is signed you will typically have one week to complete the inspection, so make sure to schedule your inspector in advance.

Understand Contingencies

You need to understand contingency clauses BEFORE you make an offer. An inspection contingency needs to be included in your contract, and the experts at The Degnan Group can help make sure you’re protected. An inspection contingency stipulates that if the inspector finds issues with your home, you will not legally be required to move forward with the purchase. Often, if the inspector finds a problem it will result in one of three things:

1. You will back out of the purchase completely and have your earnest deposit returned.
2. The seller will agree to cover the costs of repairs.
3. The seller will terminate the contract and you will both walk away from the purchase.

To protect yourself and your finances, it is important to ensure there is a contingency clause in any offer contract you sign.

Understand Inspection Costs and What They Include

As stated earlier, your home inspection is not the place to bargain hunt and try to save money, because an incompetent inspector will leave you with more expenses down the road. Although the price range varies, you can typically expect to pay around $300 to $500 for your inspection.

On inspection day, the inspector will look at your roof and attic, plumbing, electricity, appliances, foundation, HVAC system, fireplaces, and other aspects of both the interior and exterior of your home. Issues like termites, asbestos, mold, and radon are usually not included in this price though and require a more specialized inspection. Additionally, if the inspector does find any major issues, a specialist will often need to be called in for a closer look at an extra cost.

Attend the Home Inspection

Many first time buyers don’t know that they should attend the inspection. It will take a few hours, but it’s important to make time in your schedule to tag along. That way, the inspector can explain issues as they go, point out unique aspects of the home, and teach you the ins and outs of the maintenance it will require.

They will also take photos and present a written report to you at the end when you sit down together to go over any issues they found and discuss the expected costs it will take to repair them. You’re paying for their valuable experience and insight, so don’t miss out on it by skipping the inspection!

Move Forward After The Inspection

Finally, the inspection is completed and it’s time to move forward. Here, your realtor at The Degnan Group will be a huge asset. We will either negotiate with your seller if the inspection turned up issues, or continue toward the closing process if you both agree to continue with the purchase. Congratulations, you’re one step closer to being a homeowner!

The inspection process is vital to buyers and sellers alike, and so it’s extremely important to understand every step of the way. If you’re ready to buy a house, work with the experts at The Degnan Group. Our realtors will keep an eye out for red flags, recommend top-of-the-line inspectors, make sure you’re protected with a contingency clause, and help make the closing process as smooth as possible. Just call us today to get started!

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