cosmetic repairs, like a fresh coat of paint or new carpet, may
cover up serious flaws. That is why we recommend that you get
a professional home inspection. In addition, a home warranty will
give you peace of mind, while homeowner's insurance will help
protect your most valuable investment.
While you can see for yourself many flaws in a house, the practiced eye of
a professional inspector can probably spot more, especially in areas not easily
accessible to a home buyer. A professional home inspector surveys the foundation
and structure, roof, exterior, major systems (electrical, heating, cooling
and plumbing), and appliances that will stay with the home.
Tour the house with the inspector, who will point out potential trouble areas,
as well as what's "sound." If the inspection does turn up some flaws,
a seller is often willing to make repairs, but it may depend on market conditions.
Take notes as you tour. Get the inspection report in writing. This document
will support or deny the contingency addendum to your agreement.
You can add a home inspection contingency to your purchase agreement. This
requires the seller to make legitimate repairs - or if the seller is unwilling
to do so, it allows you to cancel your agreement. Depending on which
contract is required, a seller is only obligated to repair those items that
are considered a "defect".
An inspection may take a few hours and cost a few hundred dollars, but it
can save you time and headaches in the long run. Specific information could
even reduce the price of a house if the seller will agree the price has not
already been discounted for defects. We always recommend you get your own
inspection with your own inspector. Ask your MAINGATE real estate professional
for a list of professional inspectors in your area.
A home warranty repairs or replaces a home’s major mechanical systems
and appliances for a specific length of time, a year in most cases. This is
a home buyer’s best defense against expensive repairs or complete replacement
of major items, such as a roof, furnace, or washer and dryer. If the seller
is not offering a home warranty, you can still ask for one as part of the
contract. Or you may purchase a home warranty for yourself. Ask your MAINGATE
sales associate for more information on home warranties.
Your home typically is the single biggest investment you'll ever make. By
protecting it with homeowner's insurance, you'll have financial protection
against the unexpected. Most lenders require a home buyer to provide a one-year
paid receipt for a fire and hazard insurance policy at closing. Fire and hazard
insurance provides protection for fire and other perils to your home and its
contents. Aside from protecting your home and your possessions, it provides
you with liability coverage. These policies are available from the insurance
company of your choice.