Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why start with a home inspection?

I was fortunate enough to tag along on a home inspection this past Monday with Matt Cantor a local home inspector who owns Cantor Inspections. For this inspection, I was strictly there to ask a ton of questions and get a true understanding of the inspection process and to learn about recent changes in the building code. And truly, to just geek out on home construction. I get that nerdy part of me from my dad.

For my clients, I will always attend and often times get dirty by crawling under the house with an inspector so I can get a clear picture of what needs to be addressed. Typically, it's important to start with a home inspection to understand what you are buying and what needs to be addressed immediately and what can wait. It's a great starting to point to put together a 5 year budget of home maintenance projects.

I must reiterate again how important it is to get a home inspection completed by a reputable and knowledgeable inspector. A good home inspector should be able to tell you what parts of the house like electrical, roof, foundation needs to be addressed. They should also be able to tell you what is time sensitive and what can wait. Your Realtor should be able to give you a few recommendations. It's important that your home inspector is certified and has the background to back it up like being an experienced General Contractor.

For buyers, you must know what you are buying so you can budget for costs or negotiate a credit before removing your contingency. For Sellers, you do not want any surprises during escrow so it's best disclose everything and base your list price on these disclosures and the findings from the inspection. This also gives you an opportunity to fix any items you want.

When buying, there will often times already be inspections completed by the owner. You will want to make sure they are done by a reputable company and if not, pay the extra money and get new inspections. Recently, a pest report was provided for a house for sale and when my clients obtained another pest report by a different company it came back $30K higher. It's important to work a reputable Realtor who can guide you this process to make educated decisions.

Here are some new, fun things I learned during this home inspection:
  • Sheer walls need to have ventilation holes. I am sure there is some type of controversy around this but it's better to be safe than sorry. No ventilation could equal mildew or mold down the road.
  • Retrofitting that you may have gotten 10-15 years ago may be somewhat obsolete or there may be better practices in place. Information is changing all the time and it may be worth getting someone out there to check it out.
  • Smoke alarms should be placed on ceilings not walls.
  • Everyone should have a water shut-off valve (I knew this) but a good brand is the Little Firefighter and you can find them at gasvalvesource.com
Those are just a few of the new things I learned on Monday. Should you want to discuss further home inspections and/or see a sample of a home inspection, shoot me an email at ginaodom@gmail.com.

written by, Gina Odom