If you’ve bought a home, you know that a comprehensive home inspection is necessary prior to the final closing. The inspector will look closely at the roof, exterior, garage, interior, structural components, plumbing, electrical system, heating and air conditioning, and built-in appliances. The inspector will also include pictures of each item. Often, the home passes muster. Sometimes, the inspector may detect termites, water damage, mold, or asbestos. Any one of these can be a frustrating last-minute deal-breaker.
But a thorough inspection is not just for a home purchase. It is also very helpful to existing property owners, particularly those facing these situations:
Preparing for future sale. When clients discuss with us their plans to sell their home within the next three years, we recommend they hire an inspector. For a reasonable fee, they can receive an unbiased report on the current condition of their home and decide what items may need repair beforehand and budget accordingly. This way, when they are ready to sell, they have removed potential obstacles.
Identifying undisclosed problems. A few years back, a client who had purchased a home constructed two years prior thought of suing the builder because many defects emerged, and the builder did not want to come back to repair them. Instead of spending lots of money and time in court, an inspection identified the issues and provided an estimate for the needed repairs. It turned out to be cheaper and more reliable hiring their own repair people than suing an unscrupulous builder.
Planning for long-term maintenance and repairs. Recently, we recommended an inspector to an elderly widowed client who has not been proactive about maintaining her home. The client has no plans to sell but wants to make sure her home will not unexpectedly need major repairs.
Inspections can ascertain existing and potential problems with your property that can cost you significantly. An ounce of prevention may save you tens of thousands of dollars—and avoid a lot of stress.