Deciding how much to offer for a house can take some time. Not only do you need to look at comps for the area, but you also need to arrange for an inspection. The inspection will reveal any hidden damage or problems that you didn't see on your walk through, including rotten floorboards, damage to the roof or a plumbing system that needs updated. If you find that the home needs significant work, you might put in a lower offer or ask that the current owners make a few repairs before closing. As with other steps in the home buying process, there are always specific things you should consider.
Who Pays for the Inspection? As a first time home buyer, you might wonder who pays for the inspection. The buyer is generally responsible for the inspection, but some sellers actually pay for an inspection to show that the house is in good condition. Paying for the inspection yourself has some big benefits though. It lets you pick your own inspector and work with someone you trust to give you a full list of any problems found on that property.
Does It Cover Mold? When you hire an inspector, always ask if the full inspection covers any mold found in the home. Though some buyers freak out at the idea of mold because they assume it's a toxic form of black mold, most mold found in Canadian homes is relatively harmless. It often builds up because of a leak underneath the cabinets or because of a leaky pipe inside the walls. The inspector should tell you if he or she finds any signs of mold and the type of mold found. Some may also give you information regarding the cost of removing that mold.
Will the Inspector Look for Insect Damage? Homes that have any type of wood components or building materials are susceptible to termites. With a more severe infestation, those termites can actually eat through the floorboards or cause significant damage to the foundation, which can make the house lean or tilt. If the house has a basement, the insects can do damage to the steps leading down to that area and to the walls. A professional inspection should look for signs of termite damage in all parts of the house and look for rodents and other types of insects too.
What Else Does it Cover? If this is your first time paying for a home inspection, you may want to know what else it covers. The inspector should check the home for both carbon monoxide and radon leaks. A good inspection will also check all aspects of the electrical and plumbing systems. The plumbing system includes all sinks, toilets, tubs and showers in the home, visible pipes and any pipes inside the walls. It should also include a thorough inspection of the septic system as well.
What to Do with the Results The inspection can come before or after you make an offer. If you arrange for an inspection after putting in an offer, you and the seller must agree that your offer is contingent on the house passing inspection. Arranging for an inspection early on lets you get an idea about its condition and the amount of work required of you later, which helps you decide how much you want to pay. Use the results of that inspection to determine if you can afford the repairs, if you want the owners to make some of those repairs or if you can reach an agreement regarding who pays for what in terms of repairs.
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