You just got your offer accepted on a beautiful home in North Park and you are getting ready to have your home inspections. It is a good idea to make a “home inspection checklist” beforehand. This way, you will be able to ask the home inspector questions of concern. Below are a few items to include on the list:
What Does the Lot Grading Look Like?
Does the lot look pretty even? Are there areas of the ground that where there are standing puddles? Do you see white marks on the exterior of the home? This would indicate signs of water coming towards the house during a rainfall.
How Does the Foundation and Crawl Space Look?
Is there water in the crawl space? If you get a musty smell, there may be dampness under the house. Does the perimeter wall have any cracks? Are the post and piers anchored?
How Does the Exterior of the Home Look?
Are there any visible cracks on the exterior? Does it look like cracks have been patched? Are there gutters around the home? If so, are they clean?
How Does the Roof Look?:
Does the rim look wavy? Are there signs of patchwork? Ask the seller if they ever replaced it. If so, when? What about the attic? Does it look like there have been any leaks in the past? Do any of the rooms show signs of past leaks?
Does The Plumbing Look Old?
Is the sewer line old cast-iron or has it been replaced with PVC? When toilets are flushed or when the faucets are turned on, do you hear pipes moving? (You may want your plumber to scope the drains to check for cracks in the sewer line). Has the plumbing been updated?
How is the Electrical in the House?
Ask the inspector if there is still active knob and tube in the attic? Are there GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms? Are all of the outlets grounded? Has the panel been updated?
What Type of Heating Does the Home Have?
How old is the furnace? If older, does it have any leaks? If it has been updated has the old one removed from the crawl space? This may sound strange to you, but many of the homes we sell are in the North Park, South Park and other urban neighborhoods of San Diego, this is something we run across many times.
Ask for Seller Disclosures Before Your Home Inspection
Depending on how competitive the Real Estate Market is will determine how many days you will have to complete all of your Home Inspections. The listing agent should be able to give the sellers disclosures to the Buyers Agent within the first couple of days after accepting your offer. A good and well-organized buyer’s agent will go over them immediately with the buyer and will ensure that the home inspector focuses on any of your concerns.
If there are any present or past issues regarding the house, this is the seller’s chance to let everyone know about them. Having the disclosures before doing your inspection is always a good idea. You will be able to make notes from them and ask the inspector to look at items noted.
Your Realtor – The Buyer’s Agent
A good buyers agent will have a number of trusted, licensed home inspectors to choose from. However, if you already have one that you trust, make sure to schedule them immediately. Make sure they are experienced; not an inexperienced home inspector that misses critical flaws with the house. Once the property is yours, any and all of the flaws are things that you will have to address. Also, make sure that you and your Realtor read through the seller’s disclosures thoroughly. If the seller is aware of any issues or malfunctions, hopefully, they have noted them in these disclosures.
What to Expect from the Seller
What should you expect from the seller at this point? This depends on how much information of the home was listed upfront. When we list our client’s homes for sale, on some occasions and depending on the property, we will have completed either a pre-inspection and/or will have a structural engineer come out and assess the property. This is a third party expert that will give their professional opinion of the structure and give their suggestions on what to do if needed. We will then have bids on that work noted on the engineer’s report. Because of this, there is not much negotiation after you have completed your home inspection. We do this more so when we are selling a property that has a lot of deferred maintenance/fixer.
If this has not completed and presented prior to you submitting an offer, and unexpected issues come up during the buyer’s home inspection, this will typically result in the second round of negotiations. If the items are big enough that will cause you to walk away from the transaction, the seller may agree to fix them or will renegotiate. In competitive markets such as San Diego, the seller may not negotiate and will be ready to move to the next buyer. This is when you will have to decide if you will take the house as-is.
If you are thinking of buying a home in North Park and would like to work with an experienced local Realtor, contact the McT Real Estate Group. We are located at 3855 Granada Avenue, in North Park and would love to help you with the home buying process.