A home inspection is not required. However, they are highly recommended. Depending on the state you live in there may be language in the contract to purchase that gives you the right to inspect the residence within a stated period of time. It is designed to give you a clear picture of the property’s condition, including any items that might need repair. Inspections are often referred to as the due diligence period and will often have an inspection objection deadline. Home inspections usually are not required by mortgage lenders. It’s an optional procedure that you can decide on for yourself.
Based on the inspection the buyer has the opportunity to have the seller repair certain deficiencies or request a reduction in the purchase price, then making repairs themselves once the sale is complete. In the case of an “As Is Contract” the buyer can utilize the inspection report to decide whether or not to not go forward with the purchase. It is to the buyer’s advantage to have the property inspected for deficiencies that are not visible or known to the seller.
Many sellers have had inspectors and/or appraisers look at the home prior to listing the home for sale and are aware of problems with the house. Any known deficiencies should be listed in disclosures. This is also true for any modifications or improvements made to the structure. However, many sellers are not always aware of the exact condition of all areas/systems of their own home.
Homes are sometimes not particularly well cared for by homeowners. There may be leaky faucets or other plumbing issues, broken doors/ windows or outdated electrical systems. They may have older furnaces, AC units or water heaters. If homes with homeowners living in properties that are uncared for, imagine what conditions a foreclosed home can hide. Systems in foreclosed homes may sit dormant for a number of months and could be at the end of their lives because of poor maintenance practices by the previous homeowner.
Because of the importance of a proper home inspection, the purchase should be contingent on your approval of a home inspector’s report. When making a written offer for the home, simply make the home inspection a condition of the purchase. If your home inspection comes back clean, you can proceed with the sale with confidence. If the report is negative you the options of reducing your offer, asking the seller to pay for any repairs, or even backing out of the contract altogether.
There are no licensing requirements for home inspectors in Colorado. However, inspectors should have a full working knowledge of every system in a home. A broad background in general construction is a good base to build from. Good inspectors usually have a combination of formal training combined with on the job experience in related fields. Ask potential inspectors what their background is.