Apr 262011

When you are shopping for homes, you are looking at things such as the local area, number of bedrooms & baths, yard size, etc., things you deem important depending on your life style. You may even look at certain architectural styles, building levels, or if there is a basement. But beyond maybe the difference between a gas and electric stove, not many pay attention to the home’s mechanicals. We’re referring to heating / cooling systems, water heater, water source (well / municipal) waste systems (septic / municipal), etc. This is where the home inspection is important tool to utilize in the home buying process.

So you searched the internet and toured a dozen or so homes that fit your criteria, finalized your selection, and made an offer on the best one. Your REALTOR should have encouraged you to make your offer contingent on the home passing a Home Inspection by a certified Home Inspector. You will be paying this inspector to check the home for defects, including those mechanical systems you may have not paid much attention to during those many home tours. View this as a mechanic looking at a used car before you purchase it. Only this used car is very expensive so you really want everything looked at thoroughly.

The second thing to note with having your potential new home inspected is it’s also an education for you about the home. A good home inspector will show you the function of the homes mechanicals, such as how to change the furnace filter, shut off the water supply, check the electric panel, etc. So it’s best to view the inspection as good education on taking care of the home, while looking for major defects. A typical inspector will probably find something wrong (he’s trying to earn his money), but you really should only worry about addressing major defects (like a safety issue with electrical wiring or structural issue with the roof). Your REALTOR should be able to help you address any issues in the Inspection Response if a major defect is uncovered.

And in the case a really major defect is found (foundation is crumbling), you may find paying the Home Inspector and walking away from the deal will have saved you thousands of dollars in the future. That’s the best money you’ll have ever spent for something you didn’t buy. Any good REALTOR should recommend you do a home inspection on a home you are buying, and if they don’t, they’re not looking out for your best interest. The Derrick Team always recommends home inspections for our buyers, and I (Dennis) will usually be there with you to help you understand the process. Call or email us with any questions you have in the home buying process today!

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