Home Inspection or Multiple Home Inspections? One Size Does Not Fit All
Did you know that professional home inspections and Seller’s disclosures have not always been a thing? When I first started selling real estate, there were no professional home inspectors and there were no mandatory Seller’s disclosures. Everything was “Caveat Emptor.” Let the Buyer beware.
Fortunately, the standards of practice have risen dramatically over the years. As a buyer, you now have practices in place to assure that you know what you are buying. For one, you will be provided with a written disclosure prepared by the Seller. Hawaii law mandates that a Seller disclose “material facts” relating to the property you are buying. A “material fact” means any fact, defect, or condition, past or present, that would be expected to measurably affect the value to a reasonable person of the residential real property being offered for sale.
Seller’s disclosures are incredibly important. They serve as a starting point for you. But, they are just the beginning of your due diligence. I’m sure you already know about the importance of a professional home inspection. Having your home professionally inspected is pretty much par for the course these days and always strongly recommended. But, did you know that there are many other inspections to consider?
For example, the following are some additional inspections I recommend when you are purchasing a home:
- Pool Inspection. If your new home has a pool, get it inspected by an independent pool inspector. You’ll want to make sure the equipment is functioning properly. Be sure you have the pump, filter, and heater checked. You’ll also want the inspector to look at the pool decking, plaster, or tile. Pools are big ticket items and problems with pools can make or break a transaction. And your wallet.
- Air Conditioning. Does your new home have central AC? Split A/Cs? If so, you’ll want to have a professional A/C inspector take a look. Are the motor, blower, and coils in good working condition? How about the drain lines, supply lines, and connections? Checking the ductwork is important, too. You definitely don’t want to buy a home without first finding out if the A/C systems are in need of major repair, or worse, replacement.
- PV and Solar Systems. Yes, you will want your PV/Solar panels inspected. Panels, mounting systems, roof flashings, equipment, wiring, and connections should all be examined. After all, PV and Solar Systems add value to the home you are purchasing and you want to make sure you receive that value. You’ll want a qualified professional to give you an accurate assessment of the home’s systems.
- Pipes. Damage and leaks in your pipes and sewer lines can spell serious trouble. A professional plumbing scope can detect pipe deterioration, blockages, root intrusion, cracks, and leaks. Pipe inspections are particularly important when purchasing an older home.
Home inspections have become very multi-faceted over the years. A professional home inspector is worth his or her weight in gold, but you may need multiple inspections — electrical, plumbing, roofing, etc. The key is for you to make sure you have the appropriate professional examine your home’s components and systems. As much as possible, you want to work with (and rely on) people who are experts in their field. Yes, start with a professional home inspector, but be sure you don’t stop there.
Your home purchase is a major investment, especially at today’s high prices. It is well worth your time and money to hire the right experts to ensure your home’s soundness and safety. If you do, you’ll avoid surprises and you’ll sleep better at night.