DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is like the best Buyers Manual that you can receive. You’ll discover everything and anything you can about your future home; how it functions, what is wrong and what is right! But you will also learn important ways to care for your house systems and gain a better understanding of how the systems in your home work and what to look for.
This is arguably the most important part of the home buying process. Not only does the home inspection provide you material facts about your home, it will allow you time to process. Be present at the home inspection if you can. You’ll see things you didn’t notice before. Which allows you to take off your rose colored glasses and see things a little more objectively. If the inspection goes well, this will be your future home! Spending time inside the home and in the neighborhood will give you more confidence and reassurance to move forward vs. being anxious and unsure throughout the home buying process.
HOW DO I FIND A QUALIFIED HOME INSPECTOR?
Few home buyers actually know of a Home Inspector. Your Realtor should have several they can refer to you. Make sure they are a licensed Home and Pest Inspector. Some lenders ask for the pest report as a funding condition. You should not have to pay for this separately. For more information how to finance your home purchase, read our short blog.
SHOULD I WAIVE MY HOME INSPECTION?
This is a tough one, but many buyers are choosing to do this, to get their offer accepted. To avoid waiving your home inspection completely, we can obtain permission from the seller to perform an inspection before the seller accepts your offer. (This is called a pre-inspection). When you write the offer, (having already had the home inspection) you can choose to purchase the home “as is” (not making any requests of the seller) or include the terms you wish to amend in the initial offer (credit and/or repairs). The seller(s) are reassured that you (the buyer) aren’t going to go back and ask for additional items and there is no further negotiating. The risk is that the seller does not accept your offer and you have to pay the home inspector for their services, even if the seller didn’t accept your offer.
The cost of a home inspection is $425 for homes that are less than 2,000 square feet. The cost is higher for homes that are larger or have additional units to inspect. If you’d like to inspect a detached garage be sure to mention this to the home inspector. Some home inspectors charge additional money for a garage to be inspected and some include it in their price.
If you are looking for more ways to make your offer competitive read our blog on how to draft a winning offer without waiving your home inspection
DID YOU KNOW…when you (the buyer) have a home inspection, it is best for BOTH parties. For liability reasons, the seller wants the buyer to conduct an inspection, so they can discover themselves, everything and anything they need to know about the home. When your agent is communicating with the listing agent, kindly bringing this up may help with getting your offer accepted.
GET A SEWER SCOPE ON YOUR NEW HOME
When buying in the greater Tacoma area get a sewer scope! The cost is between $200-$250 and worth every penny. A sewer professional will use a camera to scope your sewer line, noting the material, approximate age, length of the line and proper functioning. When you are buying a home that is 100+ years old, the sewer line might be too! In which case it may have some issues and often these issues are not cheap!
If you are buying a newly built home, you can go online to make sure that the permit for the sewer connection was complete, meaning that the sewer line was installed and connected to the main sewer line! I’ve seen cases where the builder forgot to connect the sewer line. (sheesh!)
FINDING SOMETHING WRONG
NEEDING TO CALL IN A SPECIALIST
As a buyer you have the right to further investigate any issues that may need to be addressed by a specialist. Perhaps a plumbing or electrical issue the home inspector couldn’t properly diagnose or an organic growth noted in the crawl space. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to investigate these items – not the seller! Your Realtor should be able to refer you to competent professionals to get you these answers and quickly.