You’ve found your perfect home and made an offer. And finally, after a brief negotiation of course, your offer is accepted. Is it time to open the Champagne and celebrate? Why not? As long as you remember that there’s still plenty of work to be done before you move in. You need an appraisal, a title search, there’s your financing to follow up on, and of course you need to get a home inspection.
A home inspection by a certified home inspector is a very important part of the home buying process. In fact, you probably have a home inspection purchase contingency in your contract.
It’s important to know that a thorough visual inspection can take 2 to 3 hours or more, and you should arrange to be there if at all possible. You’d be surprised what you can learn about your future home from him. But what exactly is an inspector looking at you might wonder?
The following list covers most of the major areas as well as some problems specific to the Boston area:
- Building code violations (Un-permitted additions for example)
- Improper grading & drainage
- Structural integrity (They’ll need access to the basement & foundation)
- Exterior damage
- Old or damaged roof
- Improper and undersized electrical wiring (This happens a lot with DIYs)
- Insulation (It gets cold here in Boston)
- Old and inefficient heating system
- Fire safety (Smoke & Co2 detectors)
- Exposed Asbestos
- Ventilation (especially in bathrooms)
- Interior walls & Windows
- Wood rot
- Radon (This is usually an add on but highly recommended here in New England)
- Black Mold
So what happens if a problem is found during the inspection? This would largely depend on the problem. For something minor you may ask the seller to pay for the repair or give a credit for you to repair. If you find major issue, you can use your opt-out or renegotiate the purchase price.
In the end, a home inspection by a certified home inspector can save you money and give you peace of mind in your new home.