Buying Your First Home in Nashville? The 5th Step Inspects the Home
STEP ONE of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area was about finding a lender and getting yourself pre-approved for a loan (if you aren’t going to pay cash).
STEP TWO of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is how to select a realtor.
STEP THREE of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is finding, viewing and selecting your home.
STEP FOUR of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is making an offer.
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 trust money and have a home inspection performed.
Many first time home buyers ask the question “Is a Home Inspection Really Necessary?” – in a quick answer, YES!!! A home inspection will give you an idea of the condition of the home. It will also point out to you where potential problems may lie.
For between $350-$700 (depending on the scope of the inspection, the size of the house and the inspector’s individual costs) you will receive a document which 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!
IF you are getting an FHA loan or a VA loan, then you will have to pay $350-$500 for an FHA/VA appraiser to come over and check out the house. I personally recommend that you ALSO have another home inspector come in. This will cost more in the short term, but less in the long run (only my opinion here, though).
In the greater Nashville area, 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. The Buyer then paid 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 would not move any further.
In another example, an HVAC (heating and air conditioning) 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. The house was condemned and she had to be tested for histoplasmosis… nice…