No one enjoys that annual doctor visit – the check-up – the inspection that reveals what’s aged, sagged, and not working like it should be or used to. Home inspections are often met with the same
foreboding and dread. But really, both of these inspectors and detectors are doing you favor in the long run by helping ensure a strong and stable body…and home.
In North Carolina, home inspectors must be licensed (and you can find North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Association members here.) What do home inspectors do? They provide an “an objective, visual examination of a home’s structure, systems and mechanical systems,” according to the association.
They visually inspect “readily visible and accessible installed systems which include: structural components, exterior, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, central air conditioning, interiors, built-in kitchen appliances, insulation and ventilation.” They also “test the mechanical systems using normal operating controls,” and that means they flush the toilets, turn on the water, crank up the air conditioning and heat, etc. to see if they really work.
For buyers, these inspections are critical. You don’t want a surprise (like a leaky roof) after you move in. And they’re also surprisingly reasonable in price, typically ranging from $200 to $500. But it’s important to realize that inspections aren’t pass/fail exams. They simply report the condition of the home. You should consider being present for the inspection so that you can ask any questions you may have and in order to learn more about the home you’re about to buy.
It’s also important to understand that no home is perfect – not even new construction. Inspectors will find issues. It’s up to you to decide which imperfections you can live with, which you’ll ask the seller to fix, or which might even get the seller to knock the price down to compensate for the defect. And maybe there will be an issue that you just can’t live with, and you’ll be thankful to have discovered that while you still have the chance to walk away.
Stay tuned and next week I’ll provide a few handy (and free!) resources to help your home get a clean bill of health.
Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker
Twitter – @AskForLara