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 http://www.epa.gov/radon
• 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.