A home is the largest purchase most people will ever make in their life. As the famous colloquialism says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By paying a little more up front to go through the inspection process before finalizing the sale, you can potentially save thousands of dollars in the long run.
Complete a home inspection before signing on the dotted line
You have made an offer to purchase the home and the seller has accepted it. Great! But once you have reached a verbal agreement to purchase the home, it is time to put everything in writing. The purchase contract will generally state that you as the buyer are responsible for any repairs needed. That is why New York real estate attorneys generally recommend that the buyer have the home inspected by a licensed professional before signing the final purchase agreement.
What do home inspectors look for?
A home may look great on the outside, but have a number of issues that only a trained eye can see. A licensed home inspector will search for defects so that you know what you are getting yourself into when you agree to buy the home. Generally, the inspector will look at the various areas of the home and search for the following defects:
- Water damage – roof leaks, plumbing issues, basement flooding, mold, etc.
- Cracks in the walls, uneven flooring, or other structural issues
- Roof damage – Loose or missing shingles, leaks, holes, shrinkage of roofing material, cracks and blistering, tree damage, etc.
- HVAC malfunctioning
- Insects/pest infestations
- Problems with appliances
- Electrical issues – Exposed wiring, double-tapped circuit breakers, reversed polarity, ungrounded 3 prong plugs, etc.
- Plumbing issues– Clogged sewer lines, rusty pipes, leaks, broken thermostat, etc.
What will happen if there are defects?
If the inspector finds defects in the home, there a few options. You can ask for a lower price or ask the seller to make repairs before the closing and include that in the contract. You can also decide to go forward with the purchase of the house ‘as is’ and make the repairs yourself, particularly if there are only minor things to fix. However, if there are serious issues and the seller seems reluctant to work with you, you may have no choice but to withdraw your offer and move on to a new property.
A thorough inspection before you purchase your new home will give you peace of mind and save you from unexpected repair costs. A real estate attorney in your area can assist you with your real estate purchase from beginning to end.