Putting The Home Inspection Report Into Perspective

You, the homebuyer, have looked at countless homes and have finally found that perfect property. You have made an offer and it has been accepted. You love the house and can’t wait to move in. Now comes the home inspection.

Maybe the home inspection reveals a dozen or more deficiencies with the property. For many buyers, a long inspection report with an extensive list of defects can be daunting and create a lot of anxiety. As home inspectors, after delivering our findings, we sometimes get asked by our clients, “Should I buy this house”?

Our standards of practice in NH forbid us from advising on whether or not to buy the home.

I like to explain the process to the client like this. You found a home you like, and you made an offer based on the condition of the home as you observed. Then the home inspection report reveals additional information. Take the inspection report and put a dollar budget amount to it, add it up and whatever number you get to add it to the price of the house and ask yourself, is the value still there? If it is still a fair deal, you might move forward with no requests to the seller. Sometimes, repairs are truly needed, and maybe you don’t have the money, or the value is no longer there.That is when a request for repairs or monies to the seller are necessary.

A thorough home inspection provides two functions, first, to make sure any unreported or unknown significant defects are addressed prior to closing so the buyer does not have unexpected expenses after closing.  Second, and almost as important, use of the report is to give the buyer a full understanding of the home, so they can properly manage and maintain the property.

On our inspection report, we are looking for non-functioning systems, damages, and repairs that will be needed and to identify all exterior walls and roof penetrations, all shut-offs, filters, and location of any item that will need regular maintenance or monitoring.

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