Inspection Considerations for Buyer(s)
The purchase of a home is usually one of the biggest investments made. When someone considers buying a home, they must use their best judgement to ensure the property is a good investment.
AMAX Real Estate provides this information for the Buyer to proceed in their own best interests. AMAX Real Estate recommends the Buyer carefully consider hiring the correct inspector for each area of the home so that the Buyer can make the best decision about one of the most important purchases one will make.
Below are areas that the Buyer will want to consider inspecting. The lists are extensive, but not exhaustive.
Property Data considerations:
CC&R’s—Conditions, Covenants, and restrictions Subdivision indentures Covenants Declarations Restrictions Association bylaws Rules and Regulations Financial Information for the subdivision Square Footage of improvements and acreage Convicted Criminals Sex Offenders Sinkholes and Geological Environmental Hazards Zoning Regulations General Taxes School Districts Insurability of the home.
Home Inspection Considerations: Home/Building, Plumbing, Fireplace, Well/Water Quality, Termite/Wood Destroying pests and organisms, Mechanical: HV/AC, Hot Water Heater, Dishwasher, Built in Microwave, Oven/Stove, Pool/Spa, , Insects, Structural, Security System, Radon, Ponds/Lakes, Lead, In-Ground Irrigation, Mold/Air Quality, Dock(s), Asbestos, Private Sewage Systems, Environmental including sink holes Wetlands, EFIS—(Exterior Finishing Insulating System), Sewer Lateral, Flood Plain.
There are usually two opportunities for a home purchase: new construction and previously owned homes. Both opportunities allow the Buyer to inspect the property. New construction homes come with a Limited Builder’s Warranty for one year and is made available by Missouri law. Most purchases, however, are previously owned homes.
Missouri is a “Voluntary Disclosure” state. This means the Seller does not have to make any disclosures to the Buyer and the Buyer must make sure they are thorough in their assessment of the property to protect their own interests. There are legal requirements and court precedent that require the Seller to disclose certain conditions that would be considered an adverse material fact (e.g., a fact related to the Property, not reasonably ascertainable or known to a Buyer, which negatively affects its value).
There are many inspections that could be done and many providers of inspections. It is important to hire the correct inspector for a competent analysis. There are two types of inspectors that are usually used, general inspectors, and specialists. A general inspector (usually referred to as a Home Inspector) will have knowledge about many aspects of a home, but they do not have perfect knowledge about all aspects. The general inspector will usually conduct a wide-ranging inspection of the property and inform the Buyer of any concerns. Many times, the general inspector will inspect an area of a home or a system of the home and find a condition that causes concern but is beyond the scope of the general inspector expertise and they will recommend to the Buyer that a specialist with specific knowledge be engaged to address the concern.
If a specialist evaluation is necessary, it will be the Buyer’s responsibility to hire a specialist and have an evaluation of the area of concern. Many factors will guide a Buyer’s decision to have a home inspected. Some Buyers are very sensitive to the costs of evaluations and prefer to have minimal inspections. Others will consider the costs of inspections to be acceptable as inspections may save money in the long run.
AMAX Real Estate recommends that the Buyer considers what is in their best interests and proceeds accordingly. The Buyer may hire specialists to do the inspections and incur the costs of the inspections, but it may really save the Buyer in the long run. Some examples follow:
Some Home Inspectors are qualified with the state to do an inspection for termites (and other wood destroying insects and conditions). Most are not licensed for the treatment for wood destroying issues, though. The Home Inspector will sometimes charge a fee for the extra termite inspection. There are pest control companies that are expert in this area of inspection, and many times they will charge no more than the Home Inspector, and some will not charge at all. It would be beneficial to just hire the expert with the knowledge to inspect and treat any condition since the cost difference is minimal.
Home Inspectors will check out the HV/AC (Heating Ventilation/Air Conditioning) unit(s). They will primarily be checking to verify that the system is operating properly. Many will not do a thorough inspection as they are not experts. If the Home Inspector finds any issue that concerns them, they will recommend hiring an HV/AC technician for further evaluation. It might be more beneficial to the Buyer to hire the HV/AC technician to evaluate the system. If a heat exchanger, compressor, evaporator, etc., is not operating properly it is more likely to be found by the HV/AC technician. Missing a defect in these areas will usually come with substantial costs. Would it be better to spend $100 to hire the right person for the inspection or take a chance and maybe end up replacing a furnace or AC unit for $4,000, or more, for each?
If there are mature trees on a property there is a possibility that the sewer lines have been damaged by the tree roots that have grown under and around the line and cracked the sewer line. A plumber can inspect the sewer line by running a camera to the sewer and check the integrity of the line. The costs are usually a few hundred dollars. If this condition is missed it will cost $2,000 to $4,000, maybe more, to have the sewer line replaced. Following is a list of areas concerning the home that a Buyer should consider thoroughly inspecting. This list is provided to pique the attention of the Buyer(s), but it is not intended to be exhaustive. You may consider inspecting other items relevant to the property not included in this list.