Once you’ve gone under contract on a home, you’ll want to schedule a third party inspection for the first few days of option period. The inspection will look at the overall condition of the home: the roof, the foundation, the appliances, the HVAC, the electric, the water heater and so on and so forth. It’s a general inspection to help you make sure the house isn’t falling over, and to flag any safety and code issues in the home.
The inspector may recommend additional inspections. If they think the roof looks iffy, for example, they’ll recommend that you get a professional roofer over.
Assuming that some major issues are found, negotiations will ensue with the seller. Or, if the issues are truly terrifying, you may opt to terminate your contract for the home.
So what should you expect to be on your inspection report?
If you’re buying a brand new home from a builder, it’s reasonable to expect a clean inspection report. If you’re buying a resale home, don’t hold your breath.
Inspection reports always have a long list of things, some of which are completely unimportant. For example, almost every inspection report I’ve ever seen has missing GFCIs, attic pull down stairs that aren’t up to code, and ovens missing anti-tilt devices.
Why are these unimportant? Let’s take GFCIs for example. You’ve seen them before, you might just not know what they’re called. It’s this guy.
A GFCI is a kind of electrical outlet that trips when it detects current leaking, like into water for example. So you need this if you’re planning to blow dry your hair in the bathtub. (I’m not recommending it.) They’re often flagged as missing in kitchens, bathrooms and garages; anywhere were electricity and moisture are likely to mix. It would come in handy if you dropped your blender in the dishwater, for example.
The reason they’re so often on reports as missing is because codes change over time. When the home was built, those GFCIs probably weren’t required by code in all those locations. Now they are. It’s a small fix if you want to do it after closing, or you can just live your life without replacing your outlets with GFCI. (If you opt for the latter, I take no responsibility if you mix water and electronics and shock yourself.)
Either way, I don’t think it’s something worth negotiating over, and certainly not something worth walking away from a contract over.
There are many items on the inspection report like this. There are also items that show up on inspection that are more serious, and are worth getting quotes for, negotiating over, and sometimes terminating over. We can recommend contractors who can help you determine which is which.
Below are three inspectors our clients have used in past. We recommend scheduling as early as possible in your option period so that you have more time to review the report within your option period. Please let Emma know when the appointment is set so she can notify the sellers.
We also recommend including a termite inspection. Your lender may even require it. Just ask the inspector about it when you call. You should expect to spend in the $400 range for the third party inspection.
Big Sky Home Inspection LLC
Pillar To Post
Nathan West, TREC 21292
TLC Home Inspections, PLLC
If you’d like additional inspector names email us for our full list.