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Is this a necessary step in a home purchase?

Once you enter into a contract to purchase a house, you have the opportunity to get a home inspection. This inspection is conducted by a neutral third party who takes photographs and looks for the condition of the home. An inspector typically looks at the foundation, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and roof. This exercise gives buyers a chance to understand any major issues with a home prior to closing.

Is a home inspection required?

Certain lenders or types of loans may require a home inspection. For example, a VA loan requires that a house meets current code to receive financing. Code requirements will be noted during the inspection so that required updates can be completed to finalize the purchase. 

When a home inspection isn’t required, it is still strongly recommended. This helps a buyer understand what type of repairs or maintenance costs will be required for the home.

Water damage

Home inspectors should be able to spot water damage. A sagging ceiling, warped floor tiles, and water damage to the home’s structure are all signs of water damage. A well trained inspector will look for these signs and more and flag any concerns. Water damage can lead to mold and mildew. It can cause dry rot and structural damage which can be costly to address. 

Drainage Issues

The beautiful rolling hills of East Tennessee can lead to drainage issues if the home is not graded correctly. When the land around the structure slopes toward the home, this can create drainage problems. An inspector will look for soggy ground as well as windows and doors that are slanted and sloped floors. Identifying slope issues is key as correcting these problems can rack up a high cost. 

Roof Condition

Make sure your inspection report includes the condition of the roof. This will help you understand if the shingles are in good condition and understand if there is any missing flashing. You want to ensure there aren’t any leaks in your roof as this can cause internal damage. Replacing a roof is a costly endeavor and something you would want to use to negotiate the purchase price if necessary. Your insurance company may use your inspection report to document the condition of the home when you purchase. If not, they will likely send out an inspector with the initiation of your new insurance plan. 

Foundation Concerns

Another key factor in an inspection report is the condition of the foundation. Since your entire home rests on this foundation, repairs can be quite extensive. With East Tennessee homes built on clay, the soil responds to weather conditions. Prolonged drought for example can dry out the soil and then cause shifting. This will have an impact on the basements and crawl spaces as the foundation and walls may shift. 

General disrepair

A home inspection is going to document the full condition of the home. Many of the items noted in your report will be minor and can be addressed post closing. As you review your inspection report, you will begin to understand if the home has been well maintained by previous owners. If you find the list to be extensive, you may want to review the inspection report with a general contractor who can provide a bid for repairs. This bid can be used in negotiating the sale price or even help you decide that this real estate purchase is not right for you. 

Blue Ridge Title Company is your local Morristown attorney owned and operated title company. Our team is here to service your residential and commercial real estate needs. We are efficient, knowledgeable, and experienced in the real estate closing process. Please reach out to our team for an effective and timely closing.