Why does a buyer need a home inspection?
It is your responsibility to be an informed buyer to be certain that what you purchase is satisfactory in every respect. You have the right to carefully examine your potential new home with a home inspector. Failure to do a thorough examination of a house before the purchase can result in costly repairs after closing. Your lender will not give or lend you money for such repairs, release you from the loan, or buy the property back from you.
The best way to ensure there are no surprises on moving day is by hiring a qualified, experienced home inspector. Home inspectors assess the condition of the home and look for hidden problems inside and out. An inspector will not tell you anything about the value of the home, although information included in the inspection report can be used to help determine the value of the home, along with an appraisal.
How do I choose a home inspector?
Look for a professional with experience and knowledge regarding residential properties. You can weed out the inexperienced candidates by ask each inspector about his or her previous experience with residential home inspections and in the construction industry.
He or she should also belong to a trusted organization within the home inspection industry. The American Society of Home Inspectors requires applicants to inspect at least 250 houses in order to earn a certification, while the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors has similarly stringent requirements.
What does a home inspection include?
A home inspection gives the buyer more detailed information about the overall condition of the home prior to purchase. A qualified home inspector offers an in-depth, unbiased look at your potential new home in order to:
1. Evaluate the physical condition: structure, construction and mechanical systems
2. Identify items that need to be repaired or replaced
3. Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems, equipment, structure and finishes
The ASHI Standards of Practice is the most widely accepted home inspection guideline and is recognized as the definitive standard for professional performance. These comprehensive standards guide home inspectors in the performance of their inspections.
But isn't an appraisal enough?
An appraisal is different from a home inspection. Appraisals are for lenders; home inspections are for buyers. An appraisal is required for three reasons:
1. To estimate the market value of a house
2. To ensure that the house meets FHA minimum property standards/requirements
3. To ensure that the house is marketable
The appraisal, which involves an inspection of the home's condition and features and determines a market value, is intended for the sole benefit of the buyer's lender.
When can a home inspection be scheduled?
You may schedule a home inspection before signing your contract, or after signing the contract as long as your contract states that the sale of the home depends on the inspection.
The appraisal and home inspection are two common contingencies when buying a house. A buyer using financing makes the purchase contingent on the home passing the lender's appraisal as well as the property meeting his expectations in the home inspection. Typically, the buyer has several days to several weeks to get an appraisal and home inspection. If the buyer fails to meet the specified time frames and removes his contingencies, he may owe the seller money if he does not buy the home for any reason.
Who pays for the home inspection?
The home inspection, which involves a more thorough analysis of the home's condition, benefits only the buyer. The buyer may cover the cost himself, which ranges between $300 and $500, or negotiate with the seller to pay for it. Inspection costs vary by location, the company used, property type, property size and the purpose of the report.
In some cases, the seller may cover the cost of the appraisal and home inspection, even though the responsibility for paying these falls on the buyer.
Who pays for the repairs noted in a home inspection report?
Some repairs are negotiable with the seller, and others you'll need to take care of as the eventual homeowner. Seller concessions, or seller-paid closing costs, involve the seller giving a lump sum of money to the buyer at closing to cover the buyer's settlement costs. The buyer's lender can restrict the amount of seller concessions, usually to 3 or 6 percent of the sale price. It can also prohibit the concessions from being applied to certain fees, such as an unreasonable or uncustomary fee that is charged. The company that provided the service must be willing to wait for payment until closing if the buyer wishes to pay with money received at closing.
Know your rights as a home buyer.
Each state has its own laws and requirements regarding safety issues that need to be taken care of by the seller. Health-related issues such as mold, significant water damage or missing smoke detectors are typically among the list of things that the buyer is not responsible for and must be taken care of by the seller before the house can be sold.
20+ years of residential experience.