home inspectionAccording to Freddie Mac’s latest survey, mortgage rates have continued their downward trend to their lowest point in almost 14 months.

With rates continuing to defy the odds, more and more Americans are buying homes. Lower rates mean more purchasing power.

BUYING A HOME

There are many steps involved when purchasing a home. The exact way you progress through the home buying transaction will vary according to the real estate laws and customs determined by where you live.

Typically, there are standard home buying steps that, although not necessarily in the same exact order, will still need to be accomplished. From appraisals and home inspections, to mold and radon inspections and even pest inspections, there are a number of inspections from which a home buyer may choose.

Some inspections are required by the lender and some are optional.

THE HOME INSPECTION

Because buying a new home is generally the largest investment you’ll ever make, regardless of when the home inspection is performed, they are an essential part of the home buying process that should not be overlooked.

In some states, home inspections are accomplished prior to finalizing the purchase and sale agreement. In other states, the home inspection will take place only after an offer is finalized.

Home inspections are a great idea because they give you, as the prospective home buyer, an idea of a home’s potential problems before you buy it. Most of the time, it will also allow the home buyer to have some negotiating power with the seller to cover the cost of some repairs.

WHAT IS COVERED IN A HOME INSPECTION

While a home inspection can’t cover everything, the following items are typically included in a home inspector’s report.

  • Exterior
  • Structural
  • Roof/Attic
  • Plumbing
  • Appliances
  • Garage
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Ventilation/Insulation
  • Fireplaces

Home inspections are subjective and generally only uncover problems that arise from visual cues. For example, a home inspector can tell you that you may have a problem with your HVAC, but then recommend that you hire an expert to verify the problem.

Home inspectors do not check for issues like termite damage, mold, engineering problems and other specialized issues.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HOME INSPECTION?

It’s the buyer’s responsibility to pay for any inspections associated with purchasing the home.

Most agents will build enough time into the contract to pick an inspector and allow for any inspections that are necessary.

Home buyers will need to budget for the cost of the home inspection. The fee for home inspections will vary but most will range between $300 – $600.

The price tag for the home inspection may seem high but an inspection is truly for the buyer. The upfront fee of a few hundred dollars can save thousands.

SHOULD A SELLER GET A HOME INSPECTION?

The home inspector ultimately works for the buyer, not the seller. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, more than 85% of home buyers who applied for a mortgage also requested a home inspection.

As a seller, hiring a home inspector yourself can you give you a pre-sale profile of your home. This can give you an opportunity to repair and improve potential issues before they arise. It also gives you an idea of what may need to be disclosed up front.

Either way, you’ll have a frame of reference to compare the results of the buyer’s home inspection. Buyers will also feel more confident in making an offer when they know up front what issues may be present with your home. This could be a great advantage for you and your agent.

GET A HOME INSPECTION

Home inspections may unveil problems that you could get the seller to cover prior to moving in. Home inspections will cost you a little bit of time and money, but in the long run it’ll be money well spent.

 

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