Significance of Post-Settlement Home Inspections in a Competitive Housing Market
During the past several years, housing market conditions, such as low home inventories and heavy competition among home buyers in the greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley, have forced many home buyers into situations in which they have waived the home inspection. If you are not one of these buyers, you might think to yourself, “I would Never Waive the Home Inspection”, however, in order to successfully purchase a home it was believed necessary by a large percentage of homebuyers. We could debate if that was true or not and why it is not in your best interest to waive a home inspection, but that’s not the point of this discussion, it is more important to discuss why it’s still important to have a post settlement home inspection after settlement of your new home.
A large percentage of home buyers can evaluate cosmetic conditions and if the home has the features and layout needed for their family and lifestyle but know little about the mechanics of a home. You may find it difficult to determine if the home has any major defects or if there are problems with your home that could affect its value. Are there the appropriate safety features installed and what kind of maintenance/repair costs you should be prepared for? Issues that may affect the value of your home come in two types, those that have an immediate impact and those that over time may cause issues that affect the value.
Types of Issues that may affect the value of your home
Issues that could affect the immediate value of your home include:
- Home improvements completed improperly or not to code may cause trouble if you have plans for major additions or create difficulty selling your home in the future, particularly if market conditions are more favorable to home buyers.
- Foundation and structural issues may result in sloping floors, leaning exterior walls, and unsafe conditions for you and your family.
- Improperly installed Stucco, Brick or Stone Veneers or Fiber Cement siding may contain many hidden issues such as structural damage and mold. It is important to periodically inspect these systems.
- Deferred Maintenance of heating & cooling equipment, roofs, and plumbing, these systems have finite lifespans and are often expensive to replace.
Issues that may result in long-term damage:
- Roof and ground drainage issues are relatively inexpensive to correct however their long-term damage such as foundation settlement is expensive to correct.
- Leaking plumbing and water intrusion that is not immediately obvious can result in interior wall damage and mold or mildew. Remediation of these issues often requires tearing out wall, ceiling, and floor claddings, repairing damaged structures and remediating mold before repairing the claddings and finishes.
- Understanding the age of equipment, its typical lifespan, and how to maintain or plan for replacement.
The good news is that by having a post-settlement home inspection, you will understand these issues and create a plan for mitigating them in a manner that allows you to make repairs before additional problems develop, manage your budget and protect the value of your investment.
Choosing Batten to Beam for a Home Inspection in West Chester, PA
By hiring a certified Home Inspector such as an ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) that performs a detailed thorough inspection and not a hastily completed basic SOP inspection, you will have a complete report that provides maintenance and repair guidance during your home ownership. If you choose Batten To Beam Inspection, LLC to inspect your home, you may expect:
- With thoroughness and detail, my average site inspection is 3+ hours.
- Prioritized repair recommendations, what needs to be done right away, sometime soon, or whenever time or funds permit.
- Recommendations on the types of repairs to consider for a given issue, including illustrations, so you can have an intelligent conversation with contractors.
- Maintenance recommendations include identifying different maintenance issues for planning and budgeting.
- Budget cost estimating
- A consultant you can call anytime during home ownership and ask questions.
It is never too late to have your home inspected and is the responsible thing to do. After all, your purchase is not just a place to live, it is likely the biggest financial investment you will make in your lifetime. If you want to discuss having your new home inspected, feel free to call me, I enjoy answering questions and helping homeowners.
Richard Graff is an ASHI Certified Inspector serving the greater Delaware Valley areas, including Philadelphia and Delaware with experience inspecting all types of homes from 200+ year old homes to new construction.