“Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.”

Miguel de Cervantes

What To Expect

A thorough inspection may confirm all that you expected about the property or it may give open your eyes to some issues you were unaware of. Either way, the experience should provide you with peace of mind and the confidence to make informed decisions.

Whether buying or selling your home its important to do a do a ‘risk analysis’ this must include consideration for repairs. You obviously have a maximum purchase price or minimum selling price in mind but what about repairs-what if you loose a buyer because of a small number of repairs they weren’t willing to deal with or what if you fall in love with a house that requires major upgrades. Your figures should include how much your willing to levy for improvements.

Knowledge is power”

Francis Bacon

It is also important that you find a home or investment property that is a good fit for you. The process of shopping for and buying a house is an emotional rollercoaster. I know we’ve done it three times. You may have spent weeks or months looking for a home and THIS ONE is THE ONE!. You know you should hire a home inspector or you’ve been advised to hire one. Rationally you know it’s the right thing to do but emotionally you’re afraid that the inspector is either going to waste your time and money or tell you things you don’t want to hear. It is true that both of these things can happen. Some inspectors pack their schedules so full that they can only give you an hour or two of their time-I can assure you that this will be a waste of your time and money. A home inspection should take 2-3 hours at a minimum. And some inspections reveal so many issues that purchasing the home would result in owning the dreaded “money pit”. The majority of home inspections don’t result it hitting the MLS again. You realtor has listened to your criteria and helped you narrow down your options, the home inspection is going to help you understand the pros and cons of the house you’re interested in…there is no such thing as perfect this includes homes. Following the home inspection I will provide you with a written inspection report, complete with pictures. (Typically I will email it to you within a few business days). Consider this report your first to do list as a home owner. It goes without saying that it is always better to go into a situation with your eyes wide open; that is what a home inspection provides for you. Inspections make you aware of defects and deficiencies in a homes systems and components. Home buying is an emotional purchase. It is nearly impossible to keep a dispassionate perspective when you’ve finally found a house that your willing to make an offer on. And really who would make an offer on a home that they weren’t passionate about, it’s not a weakness, it’s a reality. But it is that same passion for the home that will draw your attention to the desirable features but prevent you from seeing undesirable aspects. IHI wants to help you through the process by providing you with the information you need to move forward.

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”

Bobby Unser

Making the decision to sell your home can be bitter-sweet. On one hand your excited about all the new possibilities but you’ve heard your share of real estate nightmare stories. Having a pre listing inspection can prevent you from being involved in one common nightmare. By completing a home inspection prior to Listing your home you have the opportunity to see the home through a Buyers perspective. By completing a few repairs you can decrease your “days on market” and increase your selling price. And ultimately limit this risk of losing a buyer. Consider this scenario-you have your home on the market and you’ve just gotten an offer!!! Congratulations! You’ve accepted the offer contingent on finding your next dream homef. Success! You’ve found it and made an offer. Meanwhile your Buyer has hired an inspector, the inspector finds maintenance or repair issues the buyers doesn’t want to deal with and you loose your Buyer and consequently you also loose the deal on your next home. Additionally, a pre-listing inspection can offer a Buyer confidence in their purchase. And it shows the home owners good faith and transparency. Understand that every house has issues and any good inspector is going to uncover problems –there are two variables 1) how much will the repairs cost and 2) will the buyers back away from the sale because of costly repairs??> This inspection report is useful in two ways, it can give you, the seller, the opportunity to correct an issue prior to listing and it can provide information to accurately price a house. Additionally, the written report can be included as part of the offering package, showing the sellers willingness to be transparent.
It is recommended that home owner complete a home inspection every 10 years. This is useful in helping catch small problems before they become extensive repairs. A perfect example: I was performing a maintenance inspection recently and the home owner explained that I didn’t need to test the heating system because it was currently waiting for replacement blowers parts. Upon inspection of the HVAC system I noted that the PVC pipe that carries combustion fumes out of the house was actually leaking on the interior components of the furnace. Flue-gas condensate, which often contains nitric and sulfuric acid, can corrode bricks, mortar, and metal, including some types of stainless steel. Dried flue-gas condensate is a crumbly white powder containing corrosive salts; this powder can accumulate, especially in horizontal vent pipes, until the vent is blocked.  This can be caused by incomplete combustion and/or and pipe that is too long or too large (not drafting properly). A earlier home inspection would have alerted the home owner to the problem and saved her money by correcting the problem prior to replacing the blower components.
Never look a gift horse in the mouth. (-unless the gift is a house…) I don’t really like to say that I ‘look for trouble’ but essentially that is what I do. By looking for trouble I can help you better understand the homes systems and components. With understanding, IHI can help you prioritize and prepare for maintenance concerns. Whether you have inherited a home or are thinking about negotiated to keep a house in a divorce, it’s important that you understand the condition of the home and any immediate maintenance issues that exist. The person who previously handled the repairs and maintenance issues may be aware of them but you don’t want to be surprised by them. For instance, perhaps there is hose bib that freezes every winter, this would be an unwelcome December surprise. Or in the case of a divorce perhaps your husband is aware of the impending roof replacement but hasn’t shared that with you, this is a large expense you may want work into your separation agreement. Calculating the cost of home ownership is a complex.. Budgeting for remaining mortgage payments, taxes, HOA fees and expected repairs is only complicated by the surprise repairs. Be proactive mitigate the surprises.