A home inspection is a limited non-invasive examination of the condition of a home. An inspector examines the home’s major systems through a visual and accessible inspection. The inspection is focused on the function of the home rather than cosmetic or design issues.
The inspector’s report generally provides a picture and a written description of any deficiency with a recommendation for further evaluation by a professional.
Although a home inspection is not required, as a real estate professional, I rarely recommend purchasing a home without having an inspection on the property.
This is another service that is not generally required by the lender to purchase a home. However, I still recommend having a survey on the property… so you know what you are purchasing.
A survey can be as detailed as a drawing of the lot dimensions with the home and easements or it can be as simple as marking the four corners. A full survey will identify the boundaries of the property, and any easements or encroachments.
Whether required by the lender or not, a survey is a good idea! The more you know about the property you are purchasing or own, the better.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is the technology of indoor environment comfort. It is a very important part of residential structures and a major consideration in the purchase of residential real estate.
Most systems in our area are heat pump, forced warm-air gas, or oil. However, other sources may be used. Examination of the system is highly recommended prior to purchase.
4 questions you should ask about the hvac system prior to purchase:
- What type of system heats and cools the home?
- How old is the system?
- Is the system covered by a warranty?
- When was the system last serviced?
You may also want to know the average monthly heating/cooling costs as you consider your monthly budget.
Homeowners Insurance is a form of property insurance designed to protect an individual’s home against damage to the structure or possessions in the home. When you purchase a home, you are required by the lender to have this policy in place prior to funding the loan.
Most standard homeowners insurance policies include four essential types of coverage:
- Coverage for the structure of your home
- Coverage for your personal belongings
- Liability protection
- Additional living expenses if you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of an insured disaster
I recommend comparing companies and asking “What if” questions. If you do not have an insurance agent, I can refer you to several agents.
LEAD BASED PAINT
If a home was built prior to 1978 the seller is required to complete a lead-based paint disclosure statement and provide to you. Through this form the seller informs a potential buyer that they do or do not have any knowledge of lead based paint in the home.
Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around homes, specifically paint. It can cause a range of health effects. Please refer to the booklet “Protect Your Family from Lead in the Home.”
Many homes have been painted and repainted several times so the lead paint is well covered. If in doubt, have the paint tested and evaluated. Home test kits are available at a local hardware store.