An Inspection Report makes you an informed buyer.
A Professional Home Inspection is an essential part of a buyer’s due-diligence in making such an important purchase. The Report will inform you of any defective systems components as well as provide a wealth of information about the conditions of the home.
A professional home inspection helps a buyer make an informed purchase decision. In order to make the best decisions, you must read your inspection report thoroughly.
The General Summary
You will find the the most serious issues in the General Summary, listed at the end of the report. Serious issues are those that adversely affect human safety, home integrity, and normal use in a way that could have expensive or life-threatening consequences. In short, a serious issue is when a home does not do what a reasonable person expects it to do.
Does a major issue mean I shouldn’t buy the house?
No, I just means follow-through with the issues. Just because something is on the general summary doesn’t mean it is an expensive or difficult fix now! A wobbly railing is a big threat to safety that we take very seriously, but it is usually an easy fix. A broken sump pump may cost $150 to fix now or cause $12,000 in damage later. These are problems that need to be addressed right away, but shouldn’t kill an otherwise good deal.
Why does this house have so many defects?
Understand that defects are common, even in brand-new construction. No home ever gets a completely “clean” inspection report and few ever have nothing of note on the General Summary. The larger and more complex the home, the longer the list will be. Most defects are usually easy fixes, and have minimal effect on the value of the home. A good home inspector must note them anyway. Only the more serious defects will appear on the summary report.
The buyer must weigh the defects with the overall purchase.
For major defects, have qualified contractors evaluate the issues and give you quotes. These estimates will put you, the buyer, in a better position to negotiate with the seller. In most cases, the seller is unaware of the defects, and in light of this new information, most sellers are willing to fix the defects and/or adjust the price to make a sale. A word of caution: sellers will be turned-off if you send them a long list of demands. Instead, it may be best to send the seller a copy of your inspection report and contractor estimates and then ask the seller to address a narrow list of major issues that are most important to you.
In short, the inspection report will never recommend buying a house; it is a tool for the buyer’s due diligence in evaluating the deal and making an informed decision.