Thursday, April 24, 2014

Should You Buy That House?

Location, Location, Location

"Location, location, location..." is the mantra realtors often cite when talking about a desirable

The prospective buyer needs to be thinking "What if, what if, what if..." when looking at a home they are serious about purchasing.

As someone looking to purchase a home you need to wonder and ask yourself:
  • Is the house safe?
  • What renovations were done in the past without a permit?
  • What is the first thing in need of replacing?
  • What's the real cost of yearly maintenance?
  • How difficult will it be to do what I have in mind?
Knowing the answers to these questions is something every prospective homeowner would like to have, and they rely on a Home Inspection to provide them with some insight. Both realtors and seasoned building professionals know the limitations and constraints applied to an inspector when they're conducting a Home Inspection.

Testing for the presence of hazardous materials, determining if a building conforms to municipal zoning by-laws, or if there are hidden deficiencies such as inadequate structural components or a persistent water problems hidden behind finished walls or stacked boxes in a basement corner are beyond the scope and mandate of a Home Inspection to find and report on.

Yet these are the conditions that result in many non-disclosure lawsuits against previous owners and realtors.

There are other limitations to the Home Inspection.  For example, as a prospective buyer the Home Inspection will not let you know how big an addition to the existing home can be, if the kitchen is in a good location or needs to be moved, if opening up the floor plan is out of the question or a feasible option, or determine how the house can be altered to suit your lifestyle.

The Home Inspection will provide you with insight about the various elements of the home and whether they have reached the end of their service life.  The Home Inspector will also be able to let you know what items are red-flagged when it comes to needing repair.  The Home Inspection provides you with a snap shot of the condition of the house as it is today.  You may be looking for a detailed scope of work outlining how the work will be done, pricing, or identifying the risks associated with purchasing the property when looked at from the context of a future project.

In other words, you need more information.

Whether your intent is to evaluate the existing conditions or challenges faced for the future growth and expansion of the house, what you may find you need are answers to describe how feasible your future plans for the home would be.  Your focus is more on the future of the house and how the current state of the house impacts those plans.

If you or your clients are looking for honest answers and clear, professional advice and direction for the evaluation of the structure and condition of the house, where pointing out both immediate and future concerns or limitations are needed, feel free to contact me.

A 10 minute conversation will allow us to determine if your requirements and this type of service make sense, and if it does, we'll both decide what the next steps will be.
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