A home inspection is very different from a home appraisal inspection. Inexperienced real estate salespeople sometimes do not understand the difference.
Although real estate professionals that have worked in the mortgage industry and decide to shift into sales, will.
What Do Home Inspectors Do?
Home inspectors inspect the immediate functionality of foundation, roofing, electrical and other possible problems. They provide you with a written report with potential issues they can see or anticipate, and include remedial recommendations and further evaluation.
They also check major appliances for functionality and poke around the attic and basement.
It can sometimes be as simple as a punch list versus a more in-depth report with a specific issue.
They are the frontline for raising the red flag on potential problems, they are not experts in foundational issues, roofing, mold, swimming pool, HVAC issues or anything else that may be red herrings. But they will alert you to these general issues.
You will need to get the advice of an expert in that potential field, if there are potentially deeper concerns for what he or she has found. This will be an extra cost to you as a buyer or seller.
Sometimes this can cause a deal to fall through or go back to the negotiating table with the seller for how these costs will be meted out for remediation.
Older Homes Versus Newer Homes
You can expect older homes to have a more extensive report due to effective age.
Effective age is the age of the property based on its condition, rather than its actual age. If a property is a 75-year-old, which is the actual age when it was originally built, but was just fully renovated last year, the effective age will be one year old.
Effective age is important that the actual age of a property. In fact, properties that have a deeper history can command higher prices.
Don’t be surprised if it is a fifty plus detailed page report especially for homes that have not been updated recently.
Newer homes when bought directly from a builder will be under warranty and give you a punch list of minor items to remedy upon closing. Find out what the builder warranty is.
Do not be afraid to request that you attend the home inspection and ask questions.
If home inspectors spot something out of the ordinary, they are not allowed to give you quotes for how much it costs to remediate the problem. But they can point you to the right direction of a specialist who can ascertain the deeper issue of the problem.
The end goal of a home inspection is to uncover issues with the home itself. Any specialized further expert inspection that is out of their realm, expect to be paying out of pocket for this or re-negotiate with the seller to help shoulder the cost.
It will be beneficial for you to hire a home inspector, especially for an older property to help you make the smartest, heftiest investment decision of your life.