Once you have an agreed upon offer to purchase, you will want to order inspections as quickly as possible. Although the home inspection is not mandatory, it is highly recommended, and should be completed within seven (7) calendar days. A home inspection covers serious structural or mechanical defects as well as the facade, roof, windows, basement, heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, outside spaces, parking, etc.
More importantly, you will learn many things about your new property such as regular maintenance schedules, location of all mechanicals and a general sense of understanding the basics of your new home.
Some items cannot be checked depending upon the season or for whatever other reason; sometimes, therefore, all appliances as well as the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, etc. are assumed to be in "good working order" unless otherwise already disclosed.
Please download this brochure about inspections and read it carefully. Especially take note: a home inspection is not intended to cover cosmetics and/or routine maintenance.
Depending upon the location of the property you have decided to buy, Jim will offer you several names of inspectors for your consideration to use. As in every aspect of the process, Jim will not require that you work with anyone in particular; but, nonetheless, Jim will provide you with options and guidance. It is also a good idea to consult with friends, relatives, neighbors, and business associates for home inspection recommendations. Alternatively, your attorney should also be a good resource for an unbiased recommendation.
The main types of inspections you will be interested in ordering are:
Needless to say, circumstances might arise causing the need for other types of inspections or by more qualified tradesmen, such as foundation/engineer, HVAC, survey, and so forth. We will cross those bridges as we come to them.
Inspections are not free and you will be required to pay for these as they are ordered. Hopefully, you will order, pay for, and negotiate repairs, if any, successfully on the way to closing. You can expect to pay from $500 or less for something small and uninvolved to over $1,000 for something large and complex. Sadly, there are times when an inspection reveals such bad news that the buyer no longer wants to buy the property. In such cases, the money spent on the inspections is lost... except that the buyer is happily informed that he saved a ton of money and headaches down the road had he gone through with the purchase.
Inspections are normally scheduled Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and can take from 1 to 3 hours. You may be present or absent during the entire process; however, it is highly recommended that you be there for the last hour so that you can go over the inspector's findings with him, ask questions, and view the actual defective issues.
Whomever you should choose to use, Jim strongly suggests that you run him/his company by the Better Business Bureau (617) 426-9000.