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Inspections and Issues

Hazys House Buying Tips #7 (Inspection Issues)

It seems a congratulations are in order. You have made it the whole way to the home inspection on your dream home. This is a day filled with excitement and you find yourself chatting casually with your home inspector about all the things you love about this home. Unfortunately, your home inspector is less than enthused and has noted some issues.

What do you do? Do you run screaming and immediately call your Realtor to remove your offer? Do you continue with the purchase of this home?

Read on to learn more about this situation and what you can do when faced with home inspection issues.

Inspection Issues Reality Checks:

#1 There is no perfect home:

Before you go screaming out the front door, take a deep breath, and realize that there is no perfect home. It doesn’t matter if the house is as old as your great-grandfather or as young as your puppy dog. All homes will have issues to some extent. Don’t be surprised when your home inspector identifies several things that are not ideal. The job of the inspector is to identify issues so that you as the buyer can be more fully aware of what you are purchasing.

Quite honestly a home inspector that finds zero issues with a home probably didn’t look very hard. Even brand-new construction was made with human hands and will leave behind the marks of imperfection.

#2 Some issues are minor:

Minor issues in a home are those issues that are likely to take small amounts of money and/or time to fix. These issues do not impact the livability of the home and often can be fixed by the owner. These issues can include items like a dripping faucet, faulty toilet tank flapper, or some minor dry wall repair. These are issues a homeowner may feel comfortable fixing on their own over the course of a weekend or so.

Minor issues don’t have to be deal breakers. These issues will turn up in almost any home over the course of ownership. They are not likely to be signs of any serious neglect of a property, but rather signs of a home being lived in. As always consult with your home inspector to help insure that these minor issues aren’t symptoms of larger problems.

#3 Some issues are major:

Some issues in a home can be quite major. These are issues such as a wet basement, cracked foundation, rotted subflooring, termites, etc. Major issues require professionals to become involved and typically require larger amounts of money and time.

Some of these major issues can be a sign of serious neglect of a property. Holes in roofs, rotted subflooring, and leaking pipes can all be examples of serious issues that must be addressed in a home. These issues may be deal breakers and a buyer will likely want to proceed with great caution when considering homes with signs of major neglect.

Some major issues may be more age related and may not necessarily be deal breakers. A furnace that is decades old, may not be a sign of neglect, but can rather serve as a warning that it will likely need to be replaced soon. Likewise, an aging roof will also need to be addressed at some point but doesn’t necessarily point to any neglect on the part of the current owner.

It is best to discuss all issues with your home inspector to gain a better understanding of which issues are signs of larger problems and which issues are simply signs of age. A home inspector can help you to better determine what issues are deal breakers and which ones aren’t.

#4 Issues can lead to negotiations:

Issues that are identified after a home inspection provide an opportunity for negotiations to occur. This is where a potential buyer can request the current owner to address the issues or can ask for the cost of a fix to be factored into the overall home price.

It is best to talk with your Realtor about these negotiations so that you can be reasonable and respectful of the current homeowner. Being overly demanding can result in hurt feelings and tougher negotiations. Respectful and reasonable communication can help both the seller and the buyer to get what they need to finish the deal.

Of course, if negotiations can’t be worked out satisfactorily, it may be best to look for another property.

Good communication with your Realtor and home inspector are very important throughout this process.

#5: They are your issues once you buy:

The simple truth with home inspection issues is that they aren’t your issues until you actually purchase the home. Once you sign the documents and close on the home, these issues are now yours. Do the best you can before you officially buy any property to understand what problems you are buying and what you are willing to undertake.

Take-Home Message:

Expect issues on a home inspection report. No home is completely problem free, even if it is brand new. Don’t let issues prevent you from shopping, but shop wisely. Work closely with your Realtor and home inspector when buying a property so you can feel at ease when signing those closing documents and finally getting the keys to your new home.

Until next time.

Happy House Hunting!

-The Hazys

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