What You need to Know about Home Inspections

If you are in the market to buy a house, you need to know some things about home inspections. These are licensed professionals who are known as “expert generalists.” In other words, they are well-versed and experienced in various aspects of the systems and components, but aren’t necessarily as expert as trade professionals such as contractors, plumbers, and electricians. The purpose of a home inspection is to learn about a property’s overall condition.

What You need to Know about Home Inspections

When you submit a purchase offer to a seller, the documentation will contain certain contingencies. These typically include financing, appraisal value, passing a home inspection, and more. The intent of a home inspection is to uncover any “materials defects.” Said material defects are issues with the house which are safety and/or healthy hazards and/or negatively impact the value of a home. For instance, if unpermitted work is discovered, it could be an issue which delays the transaction but not necessarily affect the value or safety of the home.

The home inspection is your chance to avoid problems—or, at least, use the results to negotiate with the seller to pay for repairs. A typical inspection starts at the roof and ends at the foundation, with stops in between at every major house system (plumbing, electrical, heating, septic, etc.). Most also include tests for radon gas and water safety. A good inspection, is done by a professional inspector to the standards set by the American Society of Home Inspectors. —Time.com

However, if there is a problem with the electrical wiring, that is a material defect. This will negatively affect the value of a home because it poses a significant safety issue. Should the home inspector find one or more material defects, this is a reason to rescind a home purchase offer and walk away, with your good faith deposit. Here are some more things you need to know about home inspections when buying a house:

  • A home inspection won’t cover cosmetic flaws. A home inspector will test the major systems in the house and examine all it’s components. (Systems are electrical wiring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning; while components are the roof, foundation, doors, and windows.) But a home inspector won’t spend time detailing cosmetic flaws.
  • The home inspection report will detail the basics. The home inspection report will provide the basics and it’s a really good idea to be there during the inspection. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and hear explanations. It’s also a great time to get acquainted with home inspection terminology.
  • The home inspector only works for the paying party. Some sellers pay for a pre-listing home inspection as a marketing strategy. But understand it’s the paying party the home inspector works for. If an inspection reveals issues, the seller does not have to disclose the report to buyers.
  • The inspector won’t provide you with contractor referrals. Home inspectors generally will not provide referrals to contractors. Instead, most will point you in the general direction, telling you which issues need to be addressed and to hire a qualified contractor.
  • Even a thorough, professional home inspection is not a guarantee. Understand a home inspection is not a guarantee there is absolutely nothing wrong with the house. Home inspectors don’t tear into the floor, open walls, or go over every inch of the roof. A problem could be festering out of sight.
  • It’s not always possible for buyers to opt out of a home inspection. Many lenders require a home inspection to for final financing approval. Even if the actual lender does not require a home inspection, the type of loan may contain this stipulation.

If you are considering buying home in Orlando’s Hunter’s Creek, or another community, contact us for the latest market information. We will help you find the right property.