Home Inspection Expectations
The success or failure of closing on your new home purchase hinges on the home inspection. Home Inspections typically occur within due diligence, which is usually the first 10 days of coming to an agreement on the price. What compounds the inspection process is the anxiousness one feels as they start to question whether or not they made the right decision in the first place regarding their new purchase. Did I get the right price? Is this the perfect home for my family? Is it big enough? Is it the right neighborhood? With that in mind, now the inspection process begins and the home inspector starts pointing out all of the pimples, problems and potential concerns that MAY occur when you take possession. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the inspection and I would like to offer some tips as to what you should look for and the proper expectation when reviewing your final inspection report.
1. It’s common for one to be concerned as to how the particular home they are purchasing was built. The easy answer is this: Majority of homes in Georgia are built by wood frame construction. Regardless of builder, wood frame construction is a fairly simple process. Once the frame is up, the roof truss is also constructed by wood frame, either through an engineered roof truss (pre fabricated) or hand built to architect requirement. The frame is then sheathed in board, wrapped and then the façade gets applied, either brick, plank board, stone or shake. As for the roof, plywood boards are placed on top of the truss with tar paper applied on top of the board and then shingles. In other words, don’t focus on the frame of the house.
2. Start looking at what age the home is. The older the home, the more you need to worry about “deferred maintenance” and how the homeowner has kept up with the expensive items that require maintenance. Simply put, deferred maintenance is the delay of replacement to shingles on roofs, Furnaces, Air Conditioners and Water Heaters. Most people would prefer to put off the purchase of these items and would rather fix it than replace it. At some point in age, replacement will be a necessity. The problem with these items is that they are expensive and at the end of the day, the purchase of these items will not add equity or value to the home. This is a big misconception. Updating a kitchen or renovating a master bathroom brings additional value or equity, replacing a roof or air conditioner does not. Therefore, as homes get to 15 to 20 years of age, this is the point where the mechanical equipment or roof could still be original. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as many homeowners take excellent care of their equipment, insuring it is serviced in a timely manner every year. With that being the case, why would a homeowner replace any of this equipment if it continues to perform as intended. On the other hand, some homeowners completely disregard the maintenance of their equipment and replacement is just around the corner, just hopefully not when you take possession. I tend to chuckle when listing agents advise that “not to worry, we will give you a one year home warranty”, just in case the equipment breaks in the next year. That may be great, but if you plan to live in the home for more than one year, expect to replace the equipment sometime in the future and consider those expenditures when making your offer.
3. I find the most important things to focus on a home inspection is structural, plumbing, electrical, roof and mechanical equipment. If all of those items are in great shape, the balance of the inspection report will tend to be “cosmetic items”. Most cosmetic items can be handled with a good handy person. Even with what may seem to be a long list of cosmetic items, don’t get too caught up in that, as the major costs are tied up in the items mentioned above.
In closing, as our housing market in the North Atlanta area is competitive with many choices, it’s just as easy to find a home with the major items replaced versus a home that has original equipment, with selling price being comparable.
If you find the above informative, please feel free to reach out to us when considering buying or selling your home, as we would be pleased to answer any of your questions, regardless of whether you engage us. The Weiner Group is proud to be in the “RE/MAX TOP 100”, which is the top 100 RE/MAX agents in the USA based on selling volume. We are number 2 in the state of Georgia. Our achievement is based on one simple philosophy, provide a very focused and professional service to each and every one of our customers.
Bradley S. Weiner
Broker / Real Estate Agent
North Atlanta Home Team, LLC
RE/MAX ON MAIN