The Value of Inspections

Question: When purchasing a home who needs a home inspection? 

Answer: EVERYONE! 

There are basically 3 types of sales in the Conshohocken area. 

1. Resale – owner occupant is selling with a disclosure form 

2. New Construction – builder selling with 1 yr warranty 

3. Rehab – this is a little of both 1 & 2. Investor selling an older home with new amenities differing from house to house. A disclosure is required. 

Each of these sales should include a home inspection contingency for the buyer. In a addition to this inspection a wood infestation, radon and homeowner’s insurance contingencies should also be chosen. There are a few others that could apply but not typical to our market so I will focus on just these four.  The typical time period to complete all these inspection contingencies is 10 days after the full execution on the Agreement Of Sale by all parties. (This includes weekends and holidays if not specified) 

Home Inspection – A home inspector is hired by the buyer to perform the home inspection, radon and wood infestation inspections. (Ask your agent for a referral)  An inspectors job is to look at all the details of the home and points out potential problems and/or educate the home buyers on the proper maintenance of the home.  A typical inspection can take up to 2-3 hrs to perform depending on the size of the home. Once the inspection is complete the inspector will email you and your agent a detailed report outlining all safety and repair items that may be an issue. 

It is at this time you review the report with your agent and discuss which repairs are important to you and if a licensed professional (think plumber, electrician, heating/cooling) is needed to determine and estimated cost for the repairs.  Then decide on what you would like to request the seller repair or give a credit for at this time. 

Radon Inspection- this is a test to determine the radon levels in the home.  This is done by placing canisters throughout the home for a few days.  They are the retrieved by the radon inspector and if they determine that any of the rooms are higher than 4ml a remediation system should be installed (typically requested that the seller install).  This cost is customarily around $1000, again depending on the size of the home. 

Wood Infestation- This inspection will let you know if there was ever any termite activity, any termite damage, active termites and/or active termite damage.  This also applies to carpenter ants and bees. If any of these come back positive you would want the seller to treat for termites and repair any damage that was done. 

Home/Flood Insurance- Unlike the preceding 3 inspections not all agents are equal in advising their buyers in regards to insurance.  What you are looking for as a buyer is the insurability of the home.  Does it have too many claims against it that it no longer can be insured? If there have been claims what were they?  Were these issues addressed in the disclosure? Is it in a Flood Zone, if yes how much will that cost me?  These are all questions you don’t want to ask the day before closing. Knowing right away within that 10 day period could save you from buying the home and knowing if the seller was truthful on the disclosure.  There is an easy simple way to discover all you need to know. The claims can be found in a Clue Report (think Carfax for homes) & the flood zones are issued by Fema and has a website available to insurance agents. Just contact your insurance carrier and give them the address you are purchasing.  They can give you all of this info.  If you don’t have an insurance agent please feel free to contact Kyle at (Local to Conshy) where you can login and find out everything you need to know.  Tell Kyle Binnie sent you! 

If in doubt always let your REALTOR guide you in the right direction because they work on your behalf.

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