Once you’ve signed the sales contract and the sellers have as well the count down on your option period has started. Depending on the number of days your Realtor has put on the contract is going to determine the length of your option period. On average it’s anywhere from 10-15 days. During this time, you as the buyer may have a home inspection done on the property. If you don’t know of an inspector or haven’t used one before, your Realtor can suggest one. Inspecting the physical condition of the home is a very important part of the process. Buying a home is one of the biggest investments a person will make in their life.

The inspector will take typically 2-3 hours to look the home over. This will be a top to bottom review. They will look at the physical structure of the home as well as the mechanical and electrical systems. They will look at the heating and cooling system, the plumbing system (this includes septic if the property is in a rural setting). They will enter the crawl space under the home (or the basement if the home you are purchasing has one) and they will enter the attic space as well. The landscape around the home will be looked at to make sure there is not a drainage or grading issue or that retaining walls or plants are affecting the home. The opinion of the inspector is not an emotional one since they are not an interested party in the sale. You might be wondering if you can be present for the inspection. Yes, in most cases you may accompany the inspector during the examination, so that you can ask questions and get a feel for which problems are serious and which ones are relatively minor.

Think of a home inspection as a general checkup. The inspector will have a keen eye for detail but will not be able to detect unseen issues such as asbestos or other potentially hazardous things. The inspection is not a pass or fail type of thing, it’s more like a report card. Once the inspector has completed their checklist they will prepare a home inspection report. This report will contain a checklist and summary, along with photographs and notes. The inspector will also include recommended repairs or replacements. Reading the report can be a little scary if you’ve never seen one before. For example, they may have the following in the report: “Cellulose against the foundation” this simply meant a pile of old leaves that could easily be removed. If the inspector saw something that they think is of a significance they will often refer you to a specialist, this could be something such as an issue they think might be with the foundation.

Buyers often have pest inspections done in the option period as well. The pest inspection will look for infestation of wood insects such as termites and flying beetles. They will also look for dry rot or other fungal conditions. A pest inspection may be required by your lender depending on the type of loan program you are using for your financing.

After reviewing a home inspection report it can help a buyer determine if they want to move forward with the purchase of the home or if there are issues that are to much, then the buyer can terminate the contract within the option period and continue searching for the perfect home.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Red River Title Company.