DIY Home Inspections Part 1.
Monday May 03rd, 2021
DIY Home Inspections
How did we get here?
To "win" that house that you want, it has gotten to the point where the only really acceptable offers to sellers are offers without any conditions (and of course the right price). No condition on Financing. No condition on Home Inspection. That is how competitive the real estate market has become. In the previous blog, we covered pre-approval, pre-qualifying for financing.
Now let us look at home inspections. Do I recommend to my buyers that they get one done by a professional? Yes, absolutely. In normal market conditions. These are not normal market conditions. I just checked on new listings that came out today. The first ten that I looked at all were holding off on offers for a week. This invariably leads to multiple offer situations. So how do we deal with this lack of home inspection condition? In some cases, the seller has paid for a home inspection and allows potential buyers to review it before putting in an offer. The only drawback to that from a buyer's perspective is that it could be construed as bias, as the seller is paying the home inspector. Let's give the home inspector the benefit of doubt, that he/she is professional and honest. In most cases, though the seller does not bother with this, so the onus is on the buyer. One solution is to book your home inspector the day after you have viewed the house and decide to put an offer in and have the home inspection done prior to the date that the seller is looking at offers. There are two potential problems with this approach, 1) the availability of the home inspector(although I imagine due to the lack of purchases without home inspections being done they are not that busy) and 2) the seller gets a pre-emptive offer and accepts it before the posted date of viewing offers. In that case, you would lose out on the house. That is the seller's right.
As a last resort, the buyer can do their own home inspection - depending on the buyer's knowledge of the mechanics of houses/buildings and the experience of their realtor having been on the job witnessing hundreds of home inspections, it is a viable alternative to having a professional home inspection done.
DIY Home Inspection Checklist
lFoundation. You can begin a foundation inspection by walking the exterior of the house. Check the foundation walls by sighting down from one end. (Hopefully, there are no bushes or landscaping impeding your view). Look for areas that bulge or lean which can indicate uneven load on the foundation. Both the foundation walls and home walls should be flush and level. Also, look for any potential water damage or cracks in the concrete. Standing water can cause soil to shift and wood to rot which can lead to serious damage. It can also indicate broken pipes in the home. Moisture found on the exterior of the home could be a red flag.
Cracks in concrete can be harder to diagnose, as some cracks can be expected. When concrete cures, it shrinks, resulting in some minor cracks. Horizontal cracks are also an indicator of stress on the foundation.
So that is part 1 of DYI home inspections. In the next post, we will go inside the house and go over the items that need to be looked at.
Thank you for reading.