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Home Inspections

The most crucial item of the home buying process is the home inspection, and it’s often the one that gets the least attention

Why your Home Inspection is Important

The purpose of the home inspection is to educate you on the condition of the home you are buying.

When you make an offer on a property, always make sure your agent includes an inspection contingency. That way, if something does arise you and your agent can go back to the negotiating table and ask the seller to take care of necessary repairs. The inspection contingency also gives you the right to back out of the deal without any penalties if the inspection uncovers major flaws. Keep in mind, the point of the home inspection is to give you an opportunity to uncover issues that are "deal-breakers", not catalog every single minor issue with the property.  

Think of it like buying a car. You can’t tell if it has problems unless you take it to an expert (mechanic) and have them explain exactly what needs to be fixed, the long-term effects, and the costs.

At the Home Inspection

The inspector usually arrives at the property about an hour before you. This gives them time to focus on inspecting every nook and cranny without interruption.

The inspector looks for termites and other pests, foundation problems, roofing problems, mold, plumbing and drainage issues, old electrical or exposed wiring, gas leaks, as well as more cosmetic items such as leaky faucets, running toilets, squeaky floors, windows that don’t close, and functionality of older appliances.

Home Inspection Findings

After the inspection is finished, the inspector assembles a summary outlining the condition of the home. If items such as faulty foundation, electrical issues or other items that involve your safety are mentioned in the summary, now is your opportunity to back out of the deal. However if slightly smaller problems arise, such as older (but working) appliances, squeaky floors, worn carpet or older roof, this is your opportunity to do one of four things:

  1. Ask the seller to fix those items
  2. Renegotiate your offer to reflect those repairs and fix them yourself after you move in
  3. Cancel the contract.
  4. Accept the Property "As-is"

If the repairs are mostly cosmetic, that's great news! Think of it as a manual on how to update and maintain your new home. Go ahead with the offer, but spend some time with the inspector going through the items that need repair.  They will usually explain things like how often to change the air filter, how long the old appliances will last, or how much longer that old roof will hold up. You can then set up a budget and put aside the money you saved from renegotiating the deal to pay for future repairs.

Remember the home inspection summary is not only items for repair, but items that are new or in great shape! So weigh the pros and cons seriously before walking away from your dream home due to a leaky roof or squeaky floor.  The average cost for a home inspection on Oahu ranges from $350 - $800+ depending on your square footage.