Agent Kate: Due Diligence Now Saves Headaches Later
by Real Estate Sales Representative Kate Broddick
When you put an offer down on a house, the old saying “Buyer Beware” can really come into play. If the Seller is saying the septic system was pumped recently, are you going to take his word for it? If they’re saying the roof was entirely replaced last year, how can you know if he’s telling the truth? As your Realtor® I strongly suggest you do your “Due Diligence”! In some cases we might suggest waiving an inspection, but you have to decide if that’s a risk you’re willing to take. Doing your homework on a property before you officially purchase the property can save you so many headaches down the road. But don’t be overwhelmed! I can help you navigate this process!
The most common type of inspection we recommend is a “General Home Inspection”. These professional inspectors will look at visible defects in the home – that is to say, they can’t tear down a wall to see what’s inside, but they can give feedback on the overall condition of the home and its structure. When they spot something that isn’t in their realm of expertise, they may recommend you seek advice from a more specialized inspector. For example…
Chimney: Some older chimneys don’t have flue liners, or the brick inside the chimney could be crumbling. A chimney inspector can ensure the smoke is getting outside quickly and efficiently, and you’re not at risk for carbon monoxide.
Electrical: A general home inspector may tell you that the electrical box old and doesn’t meet building codes anymore. But an actual electrician can tell you the best brands to replace it with or how much it will cost to replace.
Heating and air conditioning: Most furnaces must be taken apart to determine whether the heat exchanger is cracked, for example, or to find out why the unit is malfunctioning. An HVAC specialist can tell you what’s wrong, how much it costs to fix the unit, and whether it needs to be replaced.
Sewer or septic system inspection: Some older or rural homes may not be connected to a sewer system. Get a septic inspection and they will be able to look in the pit and see its condition, whether it needs to be pumped, and if it’s the proper model for the size of the home.
Well: Again, some rural homes may be on well water. An inspection of the well will find out the depth of the water table, including water sanitation and any bacteria that might affect the home’s water safety.
Other inspections, if you deem them necessary might include formaldehyde, asbestos, or even mold. Your general home inspector will be able to point you in the direction of any specific inspection specialists they recommend.
Some other examples of due diligence might be: Permits & Zoning (going to your city to make sure any renovations that were done on the home were permitted, or that the home is zoned to run your home-based business if applicable), Square Footage (double checking the room sizes yourself, or hiring an appraiser to do assess the home’s square footage), or even the Lot Size & Encroachments (some encroachments may require a physical inspection).
When in doubt, talk to me! That’s why you hire a Realtor®! I’m here to walk you through the process and make sure the home you want to buy is the right one for you!