You’ve spent days, weeks, or maybe even months looking for your new home, and you’ve found one you want to buy! Right after your offer has been accepted, you have a list of “to-do’s” to work through. At the top of that list is a home inspection. Home inspections can save you time and money in the long run. Here are some things to know about home inspections and their process...

•Start with a “general” home inspection after acceptance of the offer. This is a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of the home. The inspector will indicate what needs attention now, what needs further investigation by a more specialized inspector (e.g. licensed roofer, plumber, electrician, etc.), or what might need attention in the future.

•If you are buying into an HOA (Homeowners Association) community, keep in mind that most things outside of the property will be covered by the HOA. Be sure to confirm this by reviewing the “HOA documentation.”

•Be aware that sellers are not obligated to make any repairs or provide any credits. Furthermore, in most purchase contracts in San Diego, it is stipulated that homes are sold “as-is.”

•The only items sellers are required to have are operative smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and earthquake-strapped water heaters.

•Items do not have to be to “code” for the home to sell. Building codes are constantly changing. 

•Review all inspections with your Realtor and choose the items that are most important to you (health and safety items typically take priority; stay away from cosmetic items). Ask the seller to repair those items or for a credit in lieu of repairs.

•If you are unable to come to an agreement, you can terminate the contract and your deposit will be returned to you as long as you have not removed your inspection contingency.

Be sure to not let your repair negotiations get in the way of buying the home you love and have spent weeks or months looking for. Working with a licensed Realtor will help you navigate the home inspection process and the other items on your “to-do” list. Remember, no home is perfect - not even the newly built ones. As the saying goes... “Don’t trip over the pennies to get to the dollars!”

(Source: Matt Eller -- HomesinSD)