BOULDER – Home buyers have it drilled into their heads that they need to get a home inspection. But what does a home inspection report actually disclose? Buyers often have little knowledge about home construction and its components, and have difficulty deciphering home inspection reports. Many don’t know how to figure out which types of defects are serious or whether their home inspector checked all the essentials. Prior to hiring and inspector ask what is included in their reports. Ask questions if there are items in your inspection report that you are unsure about.
Issues in an inspection report may be fodder for price negotiations with the seller or, you may ask to have some items repaired. Before issuing a formal request to repair, consider the seller’s incentive to hire the cheapest contractor and to replace appliances with the least expensive brands. Home inspectors may be may not know or be reluctant to disclose repair costs. Call a contractor to determine the scope and expense to fix problems revealed during an inspection.
A repair issue that will be a deal breaker for a first time home buyer, causing the buyer to cancel the contract, will not faze a home buyer versed in home repair. Talk to your agent, family, and friends and call a few contractors to discuss which types of defects are minor. Perhaps a simple solution is available such as replacing a $1.99 receptacle, which can resolve many outlet problems. Other issues such as improper drainage around a home can be expensive to correct.
Even newly constructed homes should be inspected. Problems that aren’t readily identifiable to you such as code violations, a furnace that leaks carbon monoxide or a failing chimney, are the types of defects a home inspector could identify in a new home. Issues with new homes can be found in areas not visible to most buyers during viewings with a realtor such as crawl spaces and attics. Building contractors make mistakes, too.