No house is perfect, but a home that has costly repair issues might be a property you should walk away from or at least a reason to negotiate with the seller to either make the repairs or lower the price to cover the cost of the repair.
So, a home inspection really is a “must-do” for buyers to protect them from surprise repair costs and ensure they are getting exactly what they are paying for. Buyers are typically the ones to hire a certified home inspector to come in and carefully examine the entire home, noting all repair or replacement needs.
Some sellers will pay to have this inspection completed before they list their home, allowing them to make needed repairs and to reassure potential buyers that the home is in good condition.
As a buyer ordering a home inspection, you receive a comprehensive report that lists all the repair issues found (from minor to extensive) and how soon the repairs should be completed. It will cover everything in the home from really small issues to big ones that could cost thousands to repair.
The roof: A roof can last more than 30 years. The home inspector will inspect the roof and verify its approximate age, if there are any missing shingles, discoloration, sagging or curling up at the corners. All of these can indicate a potentially costly repair is needed.
Roof repair or replacement can cost $10,000 – $30,000 depending on the size of the home.
If the home inspection finds an issue with the roof, it doesn’t necessarily mean you walk away from the home. It can be a negotiating tool with the sellers to adjust the price accordingly if repairs or a new roof is needed.
The Septic: Septic systems also have an operational lifetime and will eventually need to be replaced; a home inspector will generally hire a specialist to check the system out. Your septic inspector will look for wet, soggy areas above or near the leach field or the septic tank, and spongy bright green grass over these areas, odors near the tank, gurgling sounds in the plumbing, and drains that empty slowly.
A septic inspection will tell you about the condition of the tank as well, which is typically opened and examined by the septic inspector while water inside the home is left running and toilets are being flushed. The inspection report will list any signs of problems with the septic system and any repairs that may be needed.
The furnace or boiler: A furnace can last between 15-30 years, usually without many problems. You should know how old the unit is and if annual maintenance and cleaning was completed (receipts are good to see).
Your home inspection will tell you more about the condition and remaining lifespan of the furnace and any signs that there are repair or safety concerns to address.
Buying a home is an investment, and there will probably be repairs needed while you live there. But you don’t want any expensive surprises to cost you more than you bargained for. I can help you find the right home, be with you through the home inspection process, and help you negotiate with the seller to get repairs completed, or the sales price lowered to cover it, before you buy.