WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN BUYING AN OLDER HOME
In a perfect world, every home would be in perfect condition, just waiting for you to move in. But just like buying a car, you’ll expect that there is some wear and tear on an older home. There may be only a few years left on the roof, or cracks in the chimney, but it should be priced accordingly.
We’ll evaluate the value of the home up front after we have a chance to see it in person and review comparable properties. We will also make your offer contingent on you having the right to conduct inspections after your offer is accepted. That will give you the opportunity to make sure everything is in the same general condition you expected.
The most common issues we see when reviewing home inspections are termite damage, cracks in sewer lines, worn or cracked chimneys, roofs or foundations needing attention, older electrical panels, and air conditioning or furnaces beyond their expected lifespan. Whatever the problem, there is always a solution.
If there are any surprises, you get to renegotiate the terms of your purchase. You can ask for repairs, or even better yet: ask for a credit towards your closing costs. That way you will need less money to close escrow AND you’ll be able to use the funds however and whenever you see fit. If there are serious concerns that can’t be fixed or that the Seller is unwilling to pay for, you can walk away from the purchase and get your deposit back…as long as you kept your inspection contingency in tact. That’s the tool we use to make sure you have a chance to kick the tires before you commit to the sale. You will release your inspection contingency only when you are completely satisfied that everything is as you expect.
How to Choose an Inspector
You are welcome to choose your own property inspectors; however, having attended and reviewed hundreds of inspections and reports, I have come to trust some inspectors more than others. I can recommend inspectors that I have worked with in the past, and that I trust in terms of their professionalism, thoroughness, and readiness to give you their real opinion.
For single family homes, you’ll most likely want at least a general inspection, termite inspection, chimney inspection and sewer inspection. For condos, you may only need a general home inspection, but you’ll want to pay close attention to the Homeowner’s Association documents you will receive from the building complex.
I absolutely recommend that you attend the home inspection and ask the inspector questions. They’ll share insights that you may not find on the written reports. Have the inspector walk you through their findings, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.
You’ll see your inspector climbing on the roof, in the attic and under the house. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more! Based on their findings you may need additional specialists to investigate problem areas further.
They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money into a home of your own. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase. There is always a solution or workaround. I will guide you to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.