By: Theresa Kurtz
Working with Buyers I am often asked, “Do we need a home inspection?”
“What if we spend all that money and we don’t end up buying the house?”
To which my response is, “What if you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars only to find out the house is structurally unsound? What recourse do you have then?”
It certainly gives pause for consideration when you look at it that way. Spend the money on a great home inspector – it’s worth it! A typical home inspection covers a lot of territory, yet, it does not cover termite damage, radon gas emissions, fireplaces, mold and septic systems to name most of the big items. Those inspections are done separately by professionals in those fields and can be very revealing as well.
Your home inspection will reveal the important items such as leaks in a roof, faulty HVAC systems, basement wall, and electrical panel issues. Their findings not only save you, the homebuyer, a lot of money, they also protect you and your family from possible harm or from investing in a “money pit”.
Please make a diligent effort in finding a reputable home inspector based on their reviews, NOT what they charge for their services. They are worth every penny! Recently I had 2 situations that I’ll share which will shed some light on the importance of a Home Inspection.
Home Inspection Cases
The client decided to make an offer on a townhouse. It was BEAUTIFUL inside! The Seller was a contractor and had spent thousands in updating the bathrooms, family room and kitchen. It was picture perfect and my client fell in love with it. Love can be blnd! It pays to do your homework.
The results of the inspection revealed that the lovely 2 story addition had been built on wooden sleepers and no concrete footings could be found. Additonally, the slope of the lot created a situation where water ran right up to the house and under those sleepers. So, not only was the addition not supported properly, but the wood was constantly wet which created rot and mold. The moral of the story is that the SELLER should have gotten the home inspected before he purchased it!
Now, he has to obtain a permit to pour a concrete foundation and in order to do that he will have to remove, then reinstall, the brand new flooring laminate, rip out the family room subflooring and wooden sleepers only to replace them. When the permit to pour the foundation was applied for it was discovered that the addition was built without a permit. As of today, the permit has not been issued and the county could require the Seller to apply for another permit to ensure that the 2 story structure is structurally sound as well.
The good news is that my clients have plenty of time before they have to move while patiently waiting for their new home to be “fixed”. On the other hand, they also could have chosen to walk away from that contract and purchase another home.
These clients were a couple looking to downsize and they had found an adorable rancher to buy. The home inspection did not reveal anything as drastic as the first situation.
They discovered the basement stairs leading into the basement from outside were cracked and the sidewalls had moved as a result of water intrusion. To correct it would require regrading the backyard and removal of concrete stairs, wall, and sidewalks. It was an easy fix costing less than $10,000, and they were fine with that solution.
What they weren’t fine with was the list of all the OTHER things that had not been taken care of properly by the Sellers over the years. When the costs to repair the “little things” were added to repair of the stairs they exceeded $30,000. The home inspection was a great tool for helping make the decision to walk away from that contract.
Buying A Home With Chimney?
When my clients are purchasing a home with a wood burning fireplace, furnace, boiler, gas fireplace or wood stove they need to schedule a chimney inspection. Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County has licensed certified technicians who know a Level II inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of property according to the National Fire Protection Association Standards.
A Level 2 is the examination of all accessible portions of the exterior and interior chimney including attics, crawl spaces, and basement. It also includes a visual inspection by using a camera system by digital scanning. Because fireplaces and chimneys can “hide” so many flaws which could ultimately result in a fire or harmful gases not to properly escape the home chimney inspections when purchasing or selling a home is a must.
I have found very few chimney inspection companies to be as reputable and reliable as they are, and I trust them to give factual reliable information. They do not employ scare tactics to obtain future business because they share the facts in a practical, matter of fact way and use cameras to show areas needing repair or replacement.
This approach allows the consumer to make educated decisions regarding any necessary repairs with confidence. The Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel Chimney team is my “go to” for my own home and for those of my clients.
About the Author
Theresa is a long time resident of Anne Arundel County. With a background in commercial land development and appraising, combined with extensive building design, Theresa’s great working knowledge of the local area combined with her love for people makes her the perfect match when it comes to anything real estate.
She is with RE/MAX One and her website is TheresaKurtz.com