Home Buyer Tip of the Day

I say it time and time again… it’s important for buyers to do all their inspections when they’re buying a home. But what does this actually mean? Typically, a buyer has 17 days (this timeframe is negotiable) to do all their due diligence and negotiate repairs, or cancel the deal. Within the first week they should ideally do a home inspection. A home inspector is a generalist who will look at all the major components of the home: foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical. The inspector will call out any possible red flags and recommend the buyer to hire a specialist to do further investigations. But even if the inspector doesn’t make any recommendations, there are a few other inspections that I think are crucial for a buyer. I always urge my clients to hire a mold inspector. Water is one of the most damaging elements to a home. A small leak that goes undetected can cause a lot of problems; I’ve seen it time and time again. Having a good mold inspector can help a buyer avoid expensive surprises. After these two inspections, it depends upon the property and the area. If it’s an older home, a sewer line inspection is always a good idea. Tree roots can damage sewer lines causing plumbing problems. An inspector puts a video camera down the sewer line to see if the line is clear or if there is any damage. A roof inpsection or foundation inspection may also be prudent. You can always ask your home inspector if they would suggest it. A home inspection will usually cost around $400 for a single family home with approximately 2,000 square feet. The bigger the hosue, the more expensive it gets. A mold inspection also costs around $350, give or take. Any samples (for mold) that are taken will cost another $100 each, for testing. Each additonal inspection you can assume another $300-400. All of these inspections are paid for at the time of service. Whether or not you buy the home, you incur the cost of the inspection. Sometimes you can negotiate for the seller to pay for something, but typically buyers pay for their own inspections. It can be $1,000+ out of your pocket as a buyer, but I look at it like an insurance policy. It’s better to spend $1,000 now to make sure that the hundreds of thousands of dollars you are about to spend are spent wisely. You can ask for the seller to make or pay for repairs based on the inspections you do (again all negotiable) or you can decide that the home needs too much work and you can cancel the deal based on your inspection contingency. The moral of the story is: do your inspections!

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