In almost all instances a home inspection is advised before buying a home! As realtors, we know how important it is for our home buyers to have an expert opinion about the condition of the home they intend to buy. It doesn’t mean the transaction will fail, but an inspection will help our buyers make plans for future upkeep costs and eliminate any surprises once they become homeowners.
Why is a Home Inspection Advised Before Buying Home?
Even though you may have a good knowledge of basic home repairs and construction, a home inspection is still advised. Sometimes problems are not so obvious and not clearly visible to the untrained eye, but a good home inspector knows what to look for. Also, it’s easy to miss problems when taking a tour.
What Does the Inspector Do?
The home inspector does a thorough inspection of the entire home. Perhaps most important is the inspection of the overall structure and main systems such as the electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. If there’s a swimming pool the inspector will observe and test the pump and filter. They will also have a look at the roof. Then, appliances will be tested, general carpentry items such as testing doors, locks and while they are at it, they are always watching for signs of mold. The home inspection list is quite lengthy and there’s plenty more, but keep in mind, much of the inspection is based on tests and his or her visual observation.
While helping our clients buy or sell homes, we ALWAYS attend the home inspections. For the most part, it’s a straight forward process and usually worth it for both sides of the transaction.
What if Repairs are Needed?
If the agreement for buying the home includes a home inspection as a contingency, the discovery of serious defects may be a deal killer. This can be disappointing however the buyer is far better off passing on the sale as opposed to paying for expensive surprise repairs later on. Usually there are only minor problems discovered and generally easily resolved. We can say, based on our years of experience, the home inspection does not usually kill a deal. Any defects discovered are either repaired by the seller or negotiated into the deal before closing escrow.
Is the Home Seller Require to Make Repairs?
Although a home inspection is advised before buying a home, it doesn’t mean the seller must make repairs. The seller is under no obligation to make any suggested repairs but will often do so just to close the sale. Now, this would not apply if the buyer is using FHA financing or a similar type loan. In fact, if the seller wants the home to qualify for FHA financing he or she must insure the home meets the required conditions. If not, they must do whatever is necessary to qualify or they’ll need to find a buyer using a conventional loan.
For conventional loans, if the roof is old but does not leak, it’s considered acceptable! Once the buyer receives the home inspection report, a repair list can be provided to the seller. The seller may respond and make some, all or none of the necessary repairs. On the other hand, the buyer does not have to go through with the purchase if the seller doesn’t agree to make the repairs or make compensation.
Home Inspection Costs
At the time of this writing, the average cost of a home inspection in Santa Clarita is approximately well over $500,000. We strongly advise all of our buyers to take advantage of this service. It’s a relatively low cost service and well worth the money and peace of mind.
FHA Requirements are a Different Matter
Also, if planning on obtaining an FHA loan, the home selected MUST meet certain specifications and repairs must be in order. Learn more about FHA requirements here. A home inspection is even more important when buying distressed properties or older homes often found in older sections of Santa Clarita and throughout the San Fernando Valley.
Local Realtors® Matt & Meray Gregory
As local REALTORS® we are extremely active in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valley real estate market and represent our friends and clients to buy and sell their homes. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service! If you’re planning to buy or sell a home, let’s connect and see if we can help you with your real estate needs.