Buying a Home Without Home Inspection? Proceed at Your Own Risk

There are often so many expenses associated with the purchase of a home that buyers will sometimes eliminate whatever they can in order to drive down the out-of-pocket costs. This can often include the home inspection. While it may seem as though it is an extraneous cost, the truth of the matter is that most buyers will eventually find that a home inspection is an invaluable tool that should not be eliminated.A home inspection is a visual analysis of all of the systems within the home as well as the structure of the home. The goal of the inspection is to determine whether there is any area of the home that may not be performing as it should as well as whether there is anything in the home that is unsafe or beyond its useful life. Inspections cover not only the interior of the home but also the exterior as well; including the roof, foundation and drainage. If there are any problems discovered during the inspection, further evaluation may be recommended. While a home inspection is not a warranty, if the problems are significant, it could give the buyer some type of recourse including asking the seller to make repairs or canceling the contract, depending on the way the purchase contract was structured.One of the most frequent questions a buyer asks about home inspections is why they need it. It is another expense, after all. The main reason for purchasing a home inspection is that it buys you some peace of mind and coverage. Without a home inspection, if something goes wrong with one of the major systems of the home after the closing, you have no avenue of recourse and it is your responsibility. Knowing ahead of time if there is a problem allows you to not only be more prepared but also gives you more options.When looking for a home inspector it is important to verify the amount of experience they have in the industry and whether they have the proper amount of training. You should also look for a home inspector who is a member of a professional organization. Inspectors with affiliations or professional memberships tend to not only be more informed but also be more serious about their jobs. It is also important to look for a home inspector who carries professional liability insurance.A thorough home inspection should cover the condition of the home’s electrical system, heating system, plumbing, central air condition system, the roof, visible insulation, attic, walls, floors, ceilings, foundation, doors, windows, landscaping, basement and visible structure.The price you can anticipate for a professional home inspection will vary based on the area of the country where you are located as well as other factors including the type of home, the size of the home and features. Some inspectors may charge extra for any additional services you may require such as termite inspection, radon testing, septic and well inspection, etc. Make sure that you do not use the cost as the sole deciding factor for hiring an inspector. A professional, thorough inspection will help you to understand any potential problems in the home and is certainly well worth the cost. An inspector that charges significantly less than others in the area may not provide you with a full report. Remember, you get what you pay for. It will be much more expensive to repair problems that were left out of an inspection report that was not thorough.It is important that you hire a professional, experienced inspector to inspect your future home rather than trying to do the job yourself. If you have already fallen in love with home you may not be able to be unbiased about possible problems. A good inspector has received training and experience that will allow him to provide a fair, unbiased report while also looking for clues to potential problems that might otherwise be subtle and even difficult to find.When you have schedule the inspection, do try to be present so that you can review the report with the inspector and ask questions. This will also allow you to view potential problems with the inspector there and view for yourself the extent of the problem. Keep in mind that almost all inspection reports will show some problems. Even if the home is new construction there may be problems noted. Minor problems should be expected. Major problems typically require negotiation between the buyer and the seller for resolution, including a possible price adjustment or repairs made by the seller prior to closing.

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Home Inspections in North Carolina

Home Inspections in North CarolinaOne of the most crucial sections of the NC Offer to Purchase and Contract document covers inspections of the real property to be purchased. It is also one of the areas where many disputes between buyers and sellers start. Recently, the State of North Carolina made a substantial revision to how inspections are handled. Previously, inspections were to major systems of the house and if those systems were, “performing the job for which they were intended,” then the inspection was considered successful. In addition to the property inspection, we had the financing contingency which was separate from the property inspections. In January 2011, the Offer To Purchase and Contract was rewritten. The new version of the form retooled the whole property inspection and financing portion of the contract and wrapped them together in the Due Diligence Period. Now the buyer of real property in the State of North Carolina has a negotiated time frame to satisfy themselves that the property under contract is the property they want to purchase. Within this due diligence time period the buyer may terminate and walk from the contract with no further obligations, “for any reason or no reason whatsoever.”The process of performing a home inspection is generally handled by a company that specializes in performing home inspections. By North Carolina law, a home inspector must also possess a NC General Contractors License, so you can rest assured that whomever you hire has some level expertise. The major items covered under a home inspection include, but are not limited to:Major Items Covered – Home Inspections in NC
• Home- This is a check up for the home and all its mechanical systems. It covers a very large list from windows, doors, roof, and decks to the climate control, electrical, plumbing and other mechanical systems.
• Pest – Otherwise known as wood destroying insects. Generally speaking, this inspection is performed by a pest company such as Terminix and inspects for the presence or previous existence of termites and other wood destroying insects.
• Radon – Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can cause cancer in certain concentrations and should definitely be tested for. Asheville, NC and surrounding areas are at risk for the presence of Radon Gas. For more information, please visit
• Water – More and more companies are springing up by the day that test the quality of your water source, and I highly recommend that you have a sample of the water tested. It is a small fee and provides some real peace of mind.
• Septic – Septic systems are a little more difficult and costly to inspect. In general a septic can be pumped dry and then inspected for cracks or other anomalies that might constitute some concerns. The cost of having the inspection can run as high as $200-$300 and may not give a complete view of the health and performances of your system. Generally speaking, it is pretty darn easy to tell when a septic system has failed. There will be apparent water standing over the drainage field and more than likely a extremely noticeable odor. Just make sure that you have an approved installation document from the county, attesting to the correct installation of the septic system.Understanding the Results of Inspections in North CarolinaIt is important to note that the inspection report does not say these things must nor need replacing; the report simply makes recommendations based on the shape the system was observed in at the time of inspection. Once you have the inspection report you may then ask the seller to fix or replace any or all items mentioned in the report. The seller, in North Carolina, at that time may or may not agree to any or all of the repair items. In the event, the seller refuses any request you may be able to walk away from the contract, continue with the contract as written or renegotiate the contract. Please keep in mind that if you terminate the contract during your Due Diligence period you are also eligible to receive a full refund of your Earnest Money, but not your Due Diligence fee.

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