Buying a home?
The process will be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you
peace of mind during a very stressful time, but often has the opposite effect.
You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often
includes a written report, a checklist, photographs, and what the inspector
himself says during the inspection. All this, combined with the seller’s
disclosure and what you notice yourself, makes the experience even more
What should you do?
Relax take a deep breath. Most of your inspection will be maintenance
recommendations, life expectancies for various systems and components, and minor
imperfections. These are useful to know about. However, the issues that really
matter will fall into four categories:
- MAJOR DEFECTS. An example of this would be a structural failure.
- Things that lead to major defects, such as a small roof-flashing leak, for example.
- Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home.
- Safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electrical panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often, a serious problem
can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in
categories 2 and 4). Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of
defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no
obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect.
Keep things in perspective. Do not pass on what could be a dream home over
things that do not matter.