First-time homebuyers are often surprised at the number of fees associated with buying a house. If a mortgage lender is involved, there will be a few extras such as application fees, origination fees, mortgage insurance fees, credit report fee, etc. Of course, even if the buyer isn’t paying for the house with a mortgage, there are still items like title insurance, appraisals, and inspections that will need to be paid for. Whether you’re prepared for those costs or not, they’re all ones that typically can’t be avoided, though the actual dollar amounts as well as who pays for them can sometimes be negotiable. In the end, many of those items protect the buyer along with the lender. For example, getting an appraisal ensures that the home is worth at least what you are paying. You might wonder, though, why both Idaho home inspections and appraisals are needed.
We Got An Appraisal—Why Are Idaho Home Inspections Necessary?
Unless you know the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal, you probably wonder why it is necessary to have both of them done. Realtor.com explains that the appraisal mostly focuses on the home’s value. Appraisers consider factors such as the size of the lot the house is sitting on, the size of the structure itself, the quality of the finishes and the condition it’s in. Other aspects that affect the value the appraiser assigns to the home include the location, how close it is to stores, businesses, schools, and other public amenities.
While the appraiser takes the condition of the home into consideration when valuing it, Meridian Idaho home inspections are all about how well the home was built or how well the house has been maintained. It’s likely the appraisal may make a note of things such as broken windows, missing roof tiles, or damaged flooring. The inspector will mention those issues but has his own home inspection checklist that goes much deeper to areas not obvious and will cover other features that might not be problems at the moment but could be potential trouble down the road. Examples of concerns Meridian Idaho home inspections could turn up include problems that may be present in the attic, crawlspace, with the electrical wiring, plumbing grade that slopes toward the house rather than away from it, the presence of mold, and foundation issues.
Meridian Idaho home inspections indicate whether the issues are a matter of safety or are minor defects, as well as whether they need immediate attention or should simply have an eye kept on them over time. Many of the items an inspector may find may not be deal breakers, but they could be cause for renegotiating the sales price or having part of the proceeds set aside in escrow to pay for resolving them after closing if the lender will allow that. Most issues are resolved prior to escrow closing to protect you and the lender.
Idaho Home Inspections Benefit Buyers
The typical price of a Meridian Idaho home inspection is from around $300 to about $500 depending on the size or age of the house among other things. Considering the buyer is looking at spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house, it’s well worth it to spend a few hundred more to ensure he knows as much as possible about the home. As Forbes puts it, Idaho home inspections give buyers the big picture of a property, and can often be a much-needed dose of reality. Jeff Stewart of Stewart Realty explains that it is like buying an insurance policy for your bank account so that after you close escrow you don’t find that you have a $20,000 problem lurking in your attic or crawlspace.
Let’s say you find your dream house. It’s in the perfect neighborhood, close to the best schools, and with a short commute to work. It’s the right color, has the amenities you’re looking for, and a few extras you didn’t know you wanted until you saw them. When a house checks all the boxes on your wish list, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to potential problems such as a faulty foundation or extreme concerns about the plumbing. However, Idaho home inspections shine a light on those issues that could turn your dream home into a house of horrors. There are times when the results of an inspection can change the buyer’s mind about a house, but mostly they’re a valuable tool for negotiating. They provide justification for requesting a price reduction or asking the seller to pay for repairs.
What’s more, the issues the inspector recommends monitoring help the buyer estimate when future repairs will probably need to be done or when specific things might need replacing. One of the items on the examiner’s home inspection checklist is to note the approximate age of the water heater and other elements such as the plumbing and HVAC system. Since water heaters, for example, have a life expectancy of around 10 to 15 years, the new homeowner will have an idea of when he’ll need to replace it in the coming years.
Home Inspection Advantages for Sellers
Real estate and remodeling pros advise that sellers can use Meridian Idaho home inspections to their advantage. Having your own inspection before you list your home will give you a realistic view of your house and allow you to address problems before the property goes on the market. Jeff Stewart of Stewart Realty calls this a “Preemptive Strike” which allows you to resolve items so that a buyer’s inspector will never even bring them up and will help you keep your deal together. At the very least, you’ll be aware of issues that the buyer’s inspector will come across and can disclose any you choose not to resolve before the sale. That’s not to say that all Idaho home inspections are identical line by line, but each examiner’s home inspection checklist is similar, and it’s rare for there to be significant differences between two inspections of the same property.
If you invest in an inspection before putting your house on the market, home inspection tips for sellers start with doing an amateur inspection on your own. Take stock of things you think the examiner will notice, such as peeling paint, loose steps, dripping faucets, or non-working electrical outlets—then fix them. Those will be items that the inspector and appraiser will call out anyway, so why not take care of them early? It will mean having less to worry about when your home is inspected and having your house in excellent repair will look impressive to potential buyers.
Home Inspection Tips
When listing home inspection tips, remodel and construction experts say buyers should be part of the process. Show up for the inspection and don’t be afraid to ask about things you don’t understand or are concerned with. That will be easier to do if you’ve gone through the house prior to the inspection and made notes about possible issues so you can ask the inspector about them or at least ask him to pay extra attention to them.
You aren’t along for the ride to look over the inspector’s shoulder, but do pay attention to his process and make sure he examines the house thoroughly. Idaho home inspections should cover the entire house, top to bottom. The inspector should literally go up on the roof to assess its condition and check for missing flashing around the chimney. He’ll likely survey the exterior of the entire house looking at trim, siding, stucco, and masonry as well as checking the foundation and noting whether the grade encourages water to flow away from the house.
Inside, Idaho home inspections include checking out the attic for sufficient insulation, proper ventilation, and air leaks. In the basement, the examiner will look for signs of water problems, cracks in the foundation, and whether there have been any noticeable repairs. He’ll also take pictures and mark down notes on cosmetic issues, electrical problems including malfunctioning GFCI outlets, potential trouble with moisture, and plumbing, heating, and cooling issues.
Do You Need a Home Inspection Checklist?
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, if you would like to do your own inspection before the professional looks at the house, it will be helpful to have a home inspection checklist to follow. Experienced inspectors follow similar procedures that you can follow, as well. Of course, the pros have been trained and are more skilled and knowledgeable than most homeowners and homebuyers. However, having a basic home inspection checklist will give you an idea of knowing what Idaho home inspections experts look at to help you understand the process better.
Home inspectors take a comprehensive look at the homes they’re examining starting with the structure itself to ensure that everything looks good from the outside such as whether it appears to be straight and not sagging or bowed, as well as whether doorframes and windows are square. Some people may be surprised to learn that Idaho home inspections also include an examination of the grounds. That means the inspector will note any standing water, apparent septic tank leaks, problems with sidewalks, driveways, patios, and exterior structures.
Other elements on the home inspection checklist cover ensuring ceilings, walls, and floors are level, doors are operating properly, that insulation is adequate, and if there are issues with fireplaces and wood burning and gas stoves, appliances, electrical, and plumbing systems. The inspector will even test handrails near stairs, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and automatic garage doors to ensure there are no safety issues with even the smallest element in the home. In the end, Idaho home inspections are a vital part of the home buying and home selling process.
If you have questions about home inspections regarding Meridian Idaho Homes or to find out more about Meridian or the rest of Southwestern Idaho give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the area and some great homes that fit your style and budget.
Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or firstname.lastname@example.org.