The Home Inspection Blues

By
Real Estate Agent with Baird&Warner Fox Valley
http://actvra.in/dLQ

Heard of the home inspection blues? After viewing dozens of homes over many weeks, you've selected the perfect house. The price is negotiated! The contract is signed! Plan the house-warming party! Call the movers!

But what's the REALTOR® droning on about...home inspection? You shush her while you dream of serving pancakes to smiling children on a sunny morning. You can see the Christmas tree in the front window....the gardens you'll plant in the spring.

In the blink of an eye your REALTOR® changes...from the chirpy cheerleader who loved every house to a dour-faced skeptic who is muttering about "material defects" and "health and safety".  She says you will have to actually pay money to some crabby guy to pick the house apart and destroy your dreams. You begin to develop a case of the home inspection blues.

You aren't expecting a perfect house, you assure your REALTOR®. But suddenly, everyone you've ever met has a bad house story. You hear about houses sliding off foundations and furnaces that blew up in the dead of winter. You begin to pray that the crabby guy can see through walls. Now the home inspection blues have settled in for a long visit.

But shake off that gloomy feeling. The home inspection is a time to learn about the house and make sure that it's safe. It's a time to make sure that there aren't problems that exceed the buyer's resources to address in the future.  In Illinois, where I work as a St Charles IL real estate agent, the home inspection is supposed to identify defects in the major mechanical and structural elements of the home such as:

- Any malfunction in the heating and cooling systems. (But old doesn't mean malfunctioning)
- Clear evidence of structural problems such as a cracked foundation or rotted wood in a staircase
- Plumbing issues such as toilets that don't flush or faucets that are not working.
- Electrical system problems such as an overloaded service box

The home inspector is also responsible for noting possible environmental hazards that require further evaluation, including radon. asbestos, soil contamination, mold or gas leaks.

There are many gray areas of what a seller can be asked to address after a  home inspection. If the questionable component of the house was to code when it was built, the seller may not be required to make the change. For example, we now know that bathroom fans should be vented to the outside of the home, not into the attic. A home inspector might recommend this be changed as an improvement to the house.

I always recommend that a buyer have a professional home inspection and would insist on a signed waiver if it was declined. The home inspection is intended to make sure that a buyer knows about problems, issues and defects in a home so that they are not taking on more than they expected.

So hire a great home inspector and learn as much as possible from him (or her) about the house. Then work with your REALTOR® and attorney to make a realistic list of requests from the seller.

Note: I am a licensed REALTOR® in Illinois, so these observations are made based on my experience and our state laws. Please consult with local professionals for the requirements for home inspections in your area.

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This post was written by Leslie Ebersole of Baird & Warner Real Estate.
Use or reproduction of the material published on this site is expressly prohibited
without the express written permission of the author.

 

FOX VALLEY LIVING

 

My Email leslie.ebersole@bairdwarner.com

My Mobile (630)945-7935

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Re-Bloggged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 07/05/2011 04:11 PM
  2. Eric Michael 07/05/2011 06:21 PM
  3. Cara Marcelle Mancuso 07/06/2011 11:28 AM
  4. Brian and Heather Halliday 07/07/2011 02:31 AM
  5. Winston Heverly 08/17/2012 08:32 PM
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Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Illinois Kane County Saint Charles
Groups:
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Rainmaker
598,574
Donne Knudsen
CalState Realty Services
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA

Leslie - Great post, don't know how I missed this one.  As an MLO here in Los Angeles & Ventura counties, I am a huge advocate of home inspections and always recommend that my borrowers get one.  Lately though, home inspections have been kind of the bane of my existence.  I've had too many transactions cancelled this year because of sub-par inspections.

WOW!!!  Could I ever relate to Jim #41.  For many of my borrowers seeing an inspection report with dozens and dozens of items (some even comments on some of the homeowners recent repairs) and then wondering why none of this stuff is on the absolutely blank sellers TDS, it leaves a very bad impression with a prospective buyer and then they start wondering what else the seller is hiding.  It goes downhill real fast from there.

July 30, 2011 10:16 PM
Rainmaker
420,591
Leslie Ebersole
REALTOR - Chicagonulls Western Suburbs
Baird&Warner Fox Valley

Donne: c'mon, there's so much good stuff we all miss good posts everyday!

Patrick: Not sure what practise is in all areas, but here the buyer's agent attends the inspection. And thanks for commenting, I took a little break from blogging so I'm sorry I didn't comment back!

Gary: most of the inspectors I know are very nice people ;-)

 

July 31, 2011 10:16 PM
Rainmaker
635,785
Winston Heverly
GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
Winston Realty, Inc.

The signed waiver issue is what I would address if they decline their right. Inspections are not all created equal, so it's is important to hire the one you know best. Ask to review their worksheet along with typical inspection details. I know on my house or guess house that is included took three hours w/a helper.

January 09, 2012 10:02 PM
Rainmaker
260,268
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First

You did a very good job explaining the home inspection. I like your writing style.

September 25, 2012 07:29 AM
Rainmaker
420,591
Leslie Ebersole
REALTOR - Chicagonulls Western Suburbs
Baird&Warner Fox Valley

Tigard Thank you very much

Winston yes, I have a company that I recommend, they are reliable and I know their people. And i understand their computer generated reports so it makes it easier to help the client interpret the information.

September 25, 2012 08:32 AM
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Rainmaker
420,591

Leslie Ebersole

REALTOR - Chicagonulls Western Suburbs
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