Not only can you use the home inspection as a means of your own peace of mind before you buy, it can also be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. Basically, if the inspector finds a bunch of problems with the house you can retract your offer without paying a penalty.
What to expect from your inspection.
A good inspector will examine a large number of key components that make up a home, document their findings, and present you with a detailed report of what they’ve found – complete with pictures. You’ll also be able to ask any questions based on their findings to ensure you understand every item in the report. A home inspector should also tell you how serious each issue in the report is; if items should be replaced, repaired, or serviced; and caution you of items that are in suitable shape now, but should be watched closely in the future.
Some items you can expect to see in a good home inspection include:
- Exterior walls
- Garage or carport
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
- Water heater
- Kitchen appliances
- Laundry appliances
- Fire safety
As important as they are, home inspections can’t identify everything that might be wrong with the property. What’s on the surface can inform the inspector of the condition of parts of the home that are hidden, but you’ll never truly know unless you can open up walls or ceilings, check under flooring, or dig around a foundation – none of which can be done during a typical home inspection.
Also – home inspectors are not plumbers, electricians, or roofers. They can only spot what they feel is an issue and recommend you find an expert to verify the problem and provide you with an estimate for the cost to fix it.
After the inspection
You have several options after you receive the results of your home inspection:
- If there are too many problems, or if these problems are too expensive to fix, you can choose to walk away from the purchase – as long as you included that home inspection contingency in your purchase offer!
- You can ask the seller to fix some or all of the problems that are revealed, or, receive a cash credit at closing to use toward repairs.
- If you’re in a situation where these aren’t options, maybe if the property is bank-owned and being sold as-is, you can get estimates to fix the problems yourself and come up with a plan for repairs in order of their importance and affordability once you own the property.
Though it’ll cost you a little bit more money, a home inspection can go a long way toward ensuring your safety, peace of mind, and financial stability.
If you’re considering a move to Dallas, or are relocating for work, there’s no better home and community resource than The Dream Connectors. Together, Sylvia Seabolt and her mother Gale have decades of experience in the Southeast Dallas real estate market. Sylvia was the 2013 Texas Chapter of Women’s Council of REALTORS® President, and is currently serving on the National Executive Committee for Women’s Council of REALTORS®. A resident of Rowlett, Sylvia loves spending time with her family on Lake Ray Hubbard. For expert advice on communities and schools in southeast Dallas, contact The Dream Connectors today at 972-226-1900 or email Sylvia directly for a quick response!