A Series for the First Time Homebuyer, Nashville Style! STEP FIVE: THE HOME INSPECTION
So you have decided that you want to take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer’s $8000 Tax Credit?!! This may be a great idea for you because in Middle Tennessee, you have got LOTS of homes to choose from! Your dream of homeownership may soon become reality!
If you have never bought a home before (believe it or not, a “first time home buyer” just means that you have not owned a home in the past three years), the idea of it might be a little bit daunting. This series that I am putting together strives to help clarify the steps that will lead you into your new front door!
Alright, so in our world of “pretend home buying” here on my blog, you have a binding agreement now in place. The next step will be to give the Listing Agent’s office your earnest money and have a HOME INSPECTION performed.
Many first time homebuyers ask the question “Is a Home Inspection Really Necessary?” – in a quick answer, YES!!! A home inspection will give a the prospective buyer an idea of the kind of condition that the home is in. It will also tell you where potential problems may lie within a home.
For between $250-$400 (depending on the scope of the inspection, the size of the house and the inspector’s individual costs) you have a piece of paper that explains the ins-and-outs of a particular home. The appliances are all tested, the electrical is looked at, the basic structural integrity of the house is noted, the HVAC system and plumbing is checked out… potentially saving lots of money down the line for the buyer!
IF you are getting an FHA loan or a VA loan, then you will have to pay about $350 for an appraiser to come over and check out the house. I personally recommend that you ALSO have a home inspector come in. This will cost more in the short term, but less in the long run (only my opinion here, though).
In Middle Tennessee, if a home inspector turns up particular problems, then he or she will suggest further inspection with a specialist. For example, a house that one of my clients wanted to purchase was inspected and some cracks in the foundation and on the house itself were recommended to be tested further by the home inspector. We brought in a structural engineer to look at the house and give his recommendations. He determined that the cracks were due to some blasting that had been done in the area a couple of decades ago and that the house was going to be fine.
In another example, an HVAC unit was shown to be on its last leg. An HVAC unit is a large expense and the seller did not want to replace it since it was still currently working. We had an HVAC contractor come over and write a letter saying that the unit was still working fine, and then we had the seller pay for several years of a home warranty. The HVAC did, in fact, break down about a year later and the home warranty company (First American) covered it. This home inspection saved about $2500, which is nothing to sniff at!!!
Once your home inspection has been performed, then it’s time to go back to the seller and do one of three things:
- You can accept the house as is (this would usually be done if there was nothing major on the home inspection report).
- You can ask the seller to fix anything that is wrong with the house per the home inspection report. This can mean that the seller pays for it, this can ALSO mean that the buyer pays for the repairs, this can ALSO mean that the price and terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement can be re-negotiated.
- You can choose to terminate the contract due to major problems with the house.
So, YES, a home inspection is WELL WORTH its price and let’s also not forget the crazy story about the lady who did NOT have a home inspection performed… the attic in her house turned out to be infested with bats and she had to move out I believe the house was condemned and she had to be tested for histoplasmosis… nice story, eh?!!!
Here’s a link for some youtube videos on the home inspection: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=home+inspection&aq=f
If you are interested in selling or finding a home in Green Hills, Downtown, 12th South, or Oak Hill area of Nashville, or would like to look at other real estate for sale in the Middle Tennessee area, please search the MLS HERE. Please note: You will have to register with my site to be able to search the MLS. I will contact you initially and all requests thereafter for privacy will be respected.
Looking to move? Wanting to Invest? Need help as a First Time Buyer? Please feel free to call me, Emily Lowe (yes, I’m a Realtor, with The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty) at 615.509.1753