After making an offer on a home, you will move to the contract phase should that offer be accepted. A part of the contract should include scheduling a home inspection. Depending on what is found this can allow you to cancel the contract or renegotiate and ask for repairs.
More than likely, the home inspector will find problems that need to be fixed. It is the inspector’s job to inform you about the property. A structural defect such as a major foundation issue or significant water damage are at the top of the list of things that you would want to walk away from.
On the other hand, there are some home defects found during an inspection that do not need to be deal killers. Many of them can be fixed, and they can be used to negotiate with the seller for those items to be repaired.
CONCRETE FLOOR CRACKS – Cracks in a concrete driveway, garage or basement floor may seem like a structural problem, but this is natural and not indicative of significant damage. Small cracks occur in concrete because it’s a porous substance. These cracks can be fixed at a relatively low cost and shouldn’t be a reason to back out of a contract.
What is something that’s cause for concern are cracks in concrete walls, as these may or may not be associated with the structure. If the wall has moved or if the cracks have a large opening, then these may be deal killers.
MOLD – Mold is something that no one ever wants to have in a house but a little bit of mold by the shower doesn’t mean you have to back out of the contract. Should mold be found during an inspection then you can have a qualified mold inspector for further evaluation. Not all molds are toxic, but the best way to determine is by hiring a mold professional.
BUG INFESTATION – Bug infestations can cause significant damage to the home’s structure if they are not exterminated quickly and efficiently. A qualified pest inspector can tell you if the home has just a few bugs or if you should rescind your offer.
LEAD-BASED PAINT – Lead-based paint was banned in 1978, but it is still possible that you could purchase a home that contains it if it was built before the ban. If this is of concern to you, you can look at homes built after this date or have an inspection.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how comfortable you are with purchasing a home with lead-based paint, but it doesn’t have to be a deal killer. You can hire a contractor who is certified to remove lead-based paint, and the home can be completely safe.
So, as you can see, not all things that show up on an inspection need to be a deal-breaker. Home inspections are a chance for you to gather information about the property at that given time. Once you are armed with this information you can determine what items need to be addressed. In many instances, these problems are opportunities for you to negotiate with the seller for resolution.
When you make an offer, you can discuss with your agent about other ways to protect yourself from working but aging systems in the home. In this case, a home warranty might a good thing to negotiate in the initial offer.