BOULDER – When purchasing a home an inspection is typically part of the process which is done after a contract is signed. There is however, something home buyers can do prior to the inspection that can be part of contract negotiations. That would be going through a buyers pre-inspection check list.
A home buyer’s check list would be similar to the home inspector’s but not as in depth or detailed. Items on this list could include but would not be limited to: Grading around the house, does it slope toward or away from the house? Does the siding look well maintained, is the paint peeling? Are there shingles missing from the roof? On the interior are the walls and ceilings in good condition, are there cracks around doors or windows? Is the basement moist or has obviously been wet? Electrically, are there enough outlets in each room and do all rooms have a switched light or outlet? Plumbing, do all drains run freely and is there adequate water pressure in all areas of the house? Appliances, are they newer Energy Star or over 20 years old? Does the home have a radon mitigation system?
As a buyer, you can conduct a check list such as this during your viewing of a property with your realtor. Items on the list can then be included in contract negotiations. A formal inspection will also need to be completed after a contract has been signed but post contract inspections should be simpler if a buyers check list is used. You can find free home buyer inspection check lists at many online locations.
In addition to the pre-inspection check list make a list of all improvement or additions you might be considering for your inspector to review. Also, if you are considering buying a home with a little more character have your inspector go through the house keeping in mind any possible renovations or restoration you may be thinking about. In some cases, it may be prudent to have an older home inspected prior to making an offer. By doing this you can include the cost of necessary repairs in the price negotiations with the seller.