Inspections and information 🏠
You’re about to buy a new home. Congratulations! You’re nervous and worried. Don’t be, it’s not time for that yet. Your home inspection has two purposes, first to look for issues that are wrong with your house that should be functioning. These include (but are not limited to) heating and cooling, top and bottom (roof and foundation), and windows, cabinets, and doors. Your inspector is looking for leaks in plumbing and evidence of water intrusion. There’s a lot to look for but the inspector has a list he will go through and the knowledge to know what he’s looking for. ASHI says a standard home inspection report covers “the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; the foundation, basement, and structural components.”
Learn what you need to know 📱
The second reason the inspector is there is to teach you about your new home, how it functions, what’s been done and upgraded, or added onto, and what you’ll need to maintain. He should also be able to help determine how much life is left on the roof and what to keep an eye on down the road. Remember, your home is your responsibility to upkeep and maintain, at the very least. If the previous homeowner did their job well, it will be in good working order, but this isn’t always the case.Hiring a home inspector is technically your job as the new homeowner, but your Realtor may have some great suggestions or inspectors they work with regularly. Consult with them before you make that call. “Before deciding whom to hire, ask these important questions of your potential inspector: Are you licensed or certified?” and “how long have you been in the business?” Many times an inspector was a contractor, but do not hire one that currently is, as the inspection may be a way to generate new business, and that’s far from what you want.
The inspection report 👉
When your inspection report comes back, the first thing to remember is; that you’re buying a used house, it’s like a used car, and you should not expect it to be perfect or up to today’s code. These aren’t acceptable things to ask for. What you’re looking for is the bigger issues, not GFI replacements (those are $12 at the hardware store but will cost the homeowner $175 to have it professionally installed by an electrician per your demand, let’s save our requests for the important things). Let’s make sure the water heater is functioning and not leaking. There are no active roof leaks or mold in the attic (side note, all houses have mold, it’s a matter of how much, where, and is it an issue). Make sure the foundation is solid, this is probably the largest mistake you can make. Cracks in the foundation or fixed cracks with little plugs is a great thing to find, it’s been professionally corrected and there’s nothing to worry about, this is pretty common in Michigan, where we live, because we are the land of a thousand lakes and sandy soil, so water is the greatest enemy of all. For example, there are pockets of Ann Arbor where all the houses have been built in a sandpit (not literally) and the basements, because of when they were built, are all disintegrating or bowing in. That’s forty thousand dollars, minimally, to correct that. In extreme cases, they will dig out the basement and replace it, wall by wall. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Where I currently work, Whitmore Lake, we have a large body of water with the houses all nestled up along the shoreline. Basements are not an option but water is still an issue and hard to manage if you’re not built on a natural slope. Every situation is going to be unique, so you’ll need to be surrounded by knowledgeable people, and your Realtors and your inspectors are your most important piece. Let’s get back to what to ask for and how. Ask for repairs OR concessions. By concessions, we mean money for repairs. Depending on the issue, you may want to take the money and buy something better than the current homeowner might buy, so opting to do the work yourself could mean the end result is a higher functioning or higher quality work. There are a lot of reasons why you may want to do the work yourself and a lot of reasons why time is of the essence, like in a water situation where there’s a leak. Every situation will require consideration. Keep in mind, that the homeowner reserves the right to say “no, I won’t make that repair” so make sure what you’re asking for are within the range of reasonable repairs. This is a point at which the contract is ‘open’ and can be ended if both parties don’t agree. And consult with your realtor. If they say no, will you still purchase this house? Ask yourself that question. Back up your ask with a quote from a local contractor.
Here’s a quick link to my recommended inspectors who work in the Washtenaw County and Livingston Area. This would include, Saline, Ann Arbor, Milan, Brighton, Dexter, Chelsea, Ypsilanti, etc.
As always, please reach out if you have any questions to 734-275-2751 or firstname.lastname@example.org