Home Inspections: Take ‘Em! Don’t Leave ‘Em!

Home inspections

Home inspections are worth every dollar invested because they give the homebuyer peace of mind.

So, you’ve fallen in love with the home of your dreams in Brooklyn. The floor plan and colors on the walls, the flooring, kitchen cupboards and bathrooms … You wouldn’t change a thing. After all, what could possibly be wrong with this home? Everything is perfect!

Finding the perfect home in Brooklyn is a wonderful thing, but don’t allow the love you feel for the home of your dreams cause you to cast a blind eye to problems that may be lurking. A home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, and a home inspection is a cost-effective way to determine its true condition.

If you’re tempted to waive the home inspection, resist. Here’s why:

  • Home inspections are important to avoid purchasing a home in need of major repairs. It is a home inspector’s job to let you know if something isn’t right. If any safety issues are uncovered, an inspection will help you prioritize the repairs needed. Thoughts: Have you thought about how much time, energy and investment will be required once you’ve purchased the home?
  • You need the facts about a home’s true condition to decide whether or not you should move forward with the purchase. A certified professional home inspector will investigate the home’s electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation and structural features. Think of a thorough home inspection as taking out an insurance policy against potential operating costs.
  • A good home inspection helps you, the buyer, know exactly what you’re purchasing. Problems with a home that could be costly to fix can be used as a tool in purchasing negotiations with the seller. You could negotiate with the seller to have them pay for repairs before closing, purchase the home as is or back out of the purchase.
  • A home inspection gives peace of mind to you as the buyer and put your mind at ease that the home is in good shape.
  • For buyers, choosing to waive the option to have a professional inspection can cause major repercussions in the future. Sellers like offers in which the inspection is waived because it means they are selling the home ‘as is.’ It means they are not responsible for anything that you cannot see immediately.
  • An inspection allows you as the buyer the right to make requests for additional repairs that aren’t agreed to at the time of signing the initial purchase contract.
  • A home inspection will increase your buyer confidence. A 2012 survey from the American Society of Home Inspectors found that 84% were more likely to purchase a property after a home inspection reported the home in good condition.
  • Waiving a home inspection contingency is never worth the risk. It provides an extra measure of security and helps you plan for the future in your new home.

Types of home inspections

Before you purchase the home of your dreams, it is best to hire a certified home inspector for all-encompassing examinations of these types:

  • General or residential inspection – structure, exterior, roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, interior, insulation and ventilation. As the buyer, you will receive a report suggesting improvements or repairs needed to bring the home up to current standards.
  • termite/wood destroying organism inspection – structural damage caused by wood boring insects. This inspection is done for an additional cost, or a WDO/WDI inspector could be recommended to the buyer.
  • radon inspection – radioactive gaseous element. Radon is formed by the breakdown of radium. It occurs naturally and is hazardous to health.  Radon gas from natural sources can accumulate in homes, especially in confined areas such as attics and basements. Testing for high levels is important. Ways to alleviate radon could be costly to fix. Radon testing can be done at an additional cost. Ask your inspector for recommendations if he does not perform radon testing.
  • Well water testing, oil tank testing and septic tank testing. Again, these tests and/or inspections may be done for additional fees. Find out if the general home inspector you hire is qualified to perform these tests.

The cost of a home inspection may vary depending upon the size, region and age of the home and may take anywhere from 2-5 hours. An inspector may recommend repairs, but it is not his responsibility to correct or repair any problems found in the home.

Home inspections usually take place at the time of the sale of the home, and it is recommended that you attend your home inspection.

Are home inspections really worth the investment? Absolutely! Money may be tight at the time of closing but what if you were moving in and found out that the air conditioning unit doesn’t cool the home? What if you find out that the electrical system is substandard after you move in? What if you discover the chimney needs work? Don’t forego the peace of mind home inspections give.

But what if you are the seller of someone’s dream home? Is it important for you to get your home inspected and appraised before putting it on the market? Yes, because there are many benefits to you as the seller in doing so.

Pre-home inspections and appraisals benefit sellers in the following ways:

  • They give you a strong selling point. People don’t like surprises. Buyers value the peace of mind of knowing there are no issues they will have to deal with once they are finally moved in.
  • They make way for higher offers by making you an honest seller to the buyer. It reassures the buyer that you are selling exactly what you say you are, and they have the appraiser’s signature to back it up. This trust can lead to higher offers.
  • And MORE offers! When you have had the home inspected, repaired and appraised, more people become interested in your home. Buyers appreciate knowing that you have taken extra steps to ensure that your home is “all that and a bag o’ chips”.  This trust can also lead to more offers.
  • Offering a home which has been pre-inspected, repaired and professionally appraised at the closing of your home tells the buyer you are someone they can trust which makes the closing process smoother.

Many buyers believe that sellers cover up problems with their home, talking or playing up on the home’s best qualities and features. Getting a pre-home inspection and appraisal before you list your home takes away potential buyers’ doubts that your house may not be all that you say it is. It’s just good practice, highly beneficial and powerful for you.

Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. With over 30 years of experience in Brooklyn, I can help you find the perfect home and the best home inspector for the peace of mind you deserve.

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