If you’re buying a home or a commercial space, you typically want to work into the contract that you will only buy the property at the listed offer if it passes a home inspection.
This way, if the inspection is disastrous, you can just back out of the deal without any complications. If you find issues with the building but you still want to buy, you may be able to make another offer, lowering the amount to account for the repairs you will need to make.
A few things you should look for during the inspection include:
- Mildew and mold, which could indicate water-related issues. Black mold is especially dangerous, as it can be toxic.
- Any water damage in the home, which could indicate that roof repairs are needed. Often, visible water damage is just the very top of the problem, with more damage hidden beneath.
- Roof damage. Storm damage is common, but any shingles will wear down over time, even without direct damage. Replacing a roof is costly, so you need to know how long you have. Again, roof issues can also lead to interior issues if water has been getting in.
- Outdated electrical systems. Older buildings may need to have whole electrical lines replaced. You also want to check to see if previous owners did any DIY repairs that were carried out incorrectly.
- Foundation issues. Cracks and leaks in the foundation can warn you of serious structural problems.
These are just a few things you should look for, but they show how important it is to understand every step of the real estate transaction, from the offer to the inspection to the final purchase.
Source: The Balance, “Getting Through the Home Inspection,” Janet Wickell, accessed June 15, 2018