Let’s face it; unless you are buying a house that was just built, it is a used home. It may be beautiful and just what you are looking for, but it may have a defect of some sort. It is estimated that more than 40% of them have one or more defect such as a crack in the slab, some dry rot, or an older hot water heater that needs to be replaced. Should this stop you from buying the home? The kind of home you have been dreaming about? Certainly not.
Every home has some room for improvement or repair. But, it is important when you are considering buying it, that you know what you are getting and plan both financially and temporally to make your home your castle.
For example, if you need a new air conditioning compressor, it may cost you more than $1,000 to repair. Maybe you didn’t budget for that. A roof can be expensive, several thousands of dollars, and maybe that cost in the near term is a deal breaker for you.
These can all be repaired, but it is the cost that must be considered. When you buy your home, you’ll typically have an ‘Inspection Contingency’. This is the time when you can bring a home inspector to look at the house and identify any defects it may have. You’ll then take this information and decide whether you want the house, and if you still want to purchase for the offered price.
You and your Realtor may work on a document called a ‘Request for Repairs’ where you ask the seller to either repair the items or give you a credit off the sales price. Your seller doesn’t have to accept the request and you’d have to decide if you still want it.
So how do we find these defects? A home inspector can help. A qualified inspector costs between $300 and $500 and they are worth every penny. They will examine, often with you present, ever system and part of your potential new home, explain what they find, and give tips about what may be costing you down the road. As a Realtor who is looking out for you, I like to be there too. In fact I can count the number of times I haven’t been there on one hand.
You may love the house, but an inspection and looking for potential defects and money-sinks is the best time and money spent.