If you’re purchasing a home, you want to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you reach the closing table. Any surprises later on could be costly and inconvenient. This is why a home inspection is a standard part of most home purchases.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a thorough visual assessment of a home’s mechanical systems and physical structure, including walls, ceilings, windows, floors, doors, and appliances. The goal is to uncover any issues with the home that the current owner may not have disclosed, or that might be unknown to any parties because they are hidden.
Why You Should Have a Home Inspection
If you’re financing your home, an inspection is a must because the lender will require it. But there are several other reasons why you should have a home inspection.
- Knowledge — A home inspection gives you valuable knowledge about the home’s true condition. You can move forward or walk away with your eyes wide open.
- Negotiation Point — It can serve as a good negotiation point to get necessary repairs or additional money off the purchase price.
- Peace of Mind — This process gives you peace of mind that you are getting the value you expect from the property.
How to Conduct a Thorough Home Inspection
Home inspections usually take place sometime between getting an accepted offer on the home and the closing. In most areas, they happen as soon as possible in the home-buying process. Unless you are a professional in the industry, it’s a good idea to hire an expert to handle your home inspection.
It’s the buyer’s responsibility to take care of finding and scheduling a home inspector. You may wish to accept a personal recommendation from someone else or conduct some research to hire an inspector who is a member of a professional association, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors.
How home inspections are carried out varies slightly from place to place. However, most inspectors will start with a walk-through of the property and form a general opinion on the home’s condition. Some of the other things they may inspect and photograph include:
- Roofing systems
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Ventilation and insulation
- Cooling and heating systems
- Major appliances
- Structural components (walls, crawlspaces, foundation, etc.)
- Interior features (window seals, stairways, garages, etc.)
- Exterior features (driveways, grading, decks, doors, etc.)
The scope of your inspection can vary slightly depending on the type of property, your location, and your needs. For example, if the property has a septic system and a well, you would want someone to take a look at those items.
When You Uncover Construction Defects
What happens if your home inspection uncovers construction defects? While design, materials, or workmanship defects are often relatively minor, sometimes they can threaten the integrity of your structure and the safety of your family. Getting construction defects fixed often requires bringing a case against a developer or builder.
Clarkson McAlonis & O’Connor, P.C. devotes a significant portion of its practice to construction defect litigation in South Carolina and Nevada. If you believe your property has these problems, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your options.