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WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN A HOME INSPECTION
Congratulations on buying your new home.
The process can be stressful, especially if you are a first-time home buyer. 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 amount of time. This often includes a written report, checklist, photographs, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection by way of written recommendations.
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 likely 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:
1. Major defects. An example of this would be a significant structural failure.
2. Things that may lead to major defects. Small things left unattended can become big things, such as a small water leak coming from a piece of roof flashing, for example.
3. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home. Structural damage caused by wood rot or termite infestation, for example.
4. Safety hazards. Such as a lack of GFCI-protection or other electrical issues. Anything in these categories should be corrected. 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. Many have never been in the attic or crawlspace, and would have no idea what may be going on in these areas. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Unless it’s a new build, it’s a used house!
Keep things in perspective. Don't kill your deal over things that don't matter, especially aesthetics. Be reasonable in what you ask for. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items.
Please read the report through, and call us if you have a question or need clarification on an item in the report.
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