A Guest Post by Jim Nolan of Home Inspections by Nolan based in Orlando. He is the Florida chapter president of the National Association of Home Inspectors and one of the most skilled, knowledgeable, and respected home inspectors in SW Orlando. Thanks again Jim for your valuable input.
phone: (407) 876-3724
I get those calls all the time. That just goes to show what happens when the general public is left up to themselves to learn about how to buy a house rather than to accept professional guidance from a Realtor. People don’t know how to buy a house – but it’s not their fault – just a lack of experience.
Think about it. How many houses does an average person buy in a lifetime? Three, maybe four? And how often? Once a decade? How would you like to go to a dentist that fills one tooth a decade? How would you like to go to a heart surgeon that does one operation a decade? You wouldn’t. So why can’t you ask a Realtor to assist you on choosing a home inspector. Ask your Realtor what questions should I ask. Truth is, you should be asking your home inspector “How much money are you going to save me”?
A good home inspector isn’t going to cost you money. A good home inspector is going to save you money.
It’s becoming normal again to see a repair clause in a contract. The good home inspector will be able to find deferred maintenance items or broken items that homeowners don’t even know exist. That will enable the buyer to invoke the repair clause of the contract. Immediately the home buyer will save the difference between the repair clause and the inspection fee. And really, it’s much more beneficial to everyone – including the seller and both Realtors – to discover any needed repairs or system failures prior to closing. No one wants an unhappy homeowner to have to make that phone call or worse yet, send that dreaded attorney letter.
How about when a water heater tends to “run out” of hot water? Often someone comes in and just raises the thermostat. That’s not a correct repair nor is it a correct diagnosis of the problem. In fact it can create a scalding danger. With an electric water heater, “running out” of hot water is an indication that likely one of the elements is not working properly. Repairs are needed.
How about Ground Fault or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters? Sure – that electric outlet may still power the hedge trimmer but what safety features are not working properly? How much is that repair? Probably less than $100.00. But that could be a lot less than an ambulance ride and an emergency room visit – or even a funeral. Ever thought of looking for an underground water leak at the water meter? You may never know that a pipe is leaking if no water ever becomes visible at the surface – but that meter dial will be spinning and costing you money.
Those are just little things. we didn’t even get to the expensive stuff like roof repairs or replacement, A/C repairs or replacement or perhaps just a washing machine hose that is getting ready to burst – a $10.00 hose that can easily cause 20 or $30,000.00 damage.
So get a professional home inspection and then get a home warranty to cover any other unannounced mechanical failure down the road. I think you’ll be glad you did.