Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home
inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, 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, checklist,
photographs, environmental reports, 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 overwhelming. What should you do?
Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance
recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These
are nice 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. 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 electric 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.
Don't kill your deal over things that don't matter. It is inappropriate
to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions
already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items