Deferred Maintenance in Real Estate – A Home Inspector’s Perspective
You’re buying a piece of real estate, in this post-foreclosure era… how has the home or building been taken care of ? Sometimes paint, flooring and carpet look great, what about the “nuts and bolts” of the home or building ?
Many Buildings in this Post Foreclosure Era have been affected
Sadly, many home’s and building’s have had owners and occupants that couldn’t foot the bill to take care of what I’ll call Big Ticket Items, such as
- Plumbing – For example, water heater’s that are 5-10 Years past their service life of 10-12 years. What will happen next, will it flood your home/garage? Maybe you’ll just be lucky and find that it stops working.
- Air Conditioning and Heating Systems – HVAC – Is your Heat and AC system nearing the 15-20 year mark? Many of these systems will fail, and are very expensive to replace. A majority of the home’s and buildings that I inspect that are in this age bracket (late 1980’s and early 1990’s) still have their original system’s. And while they work today, how much longer?
- Electrical – While electrical systems can do OK, sitting idle for awhile, if no other problems are present, have essential upgrades such as GFCI / Ground Fault devices been installed at Kitchens, Baths or ?
- Exterior – On average, re-painting trim and exterior is probably a $2500-3500 job, what if the wood trim, siding have been neglected?
The above are just some examples, and while certainly there are plenty of good values to purchase, a comprehensive and thorough real estate inspection is so very important in this market.
It’s As – Is – do I still need an inspection ?
That’s an interesting question, and a very simple answer… YES you do, you need a real estate inspection, maybe even more so! I’ve heard even seasoned experts tell me that ” It’s as-is Tim, I don’t even know why they are getting an inspection, they are NOT MAKING REPAIRS”
My thought is this, when buying AS IS REAL ESTATE <– Not legal Advice, ask your attorney for that.. this is just from my experience!
- Order a complete, thorough home inspection, EARLY in your contingency period. Don’t wait until the last minute. What if your inspector recommends a specialist and you waited until the last couple of days? You may be forced to make a less than informed decision!
- Write down concerns and questions! Make sure that any special concerns you have are addressed on site, during the inspection. I receive a number of questions, post-inspection and while there are many times that I can help, it would be better if we’re on site.
- If you are advised by your Inspector to follow up, further evaluate etc, you should do so in your contingency period! If you do not follow advice you’ve paid for, you will likely be dealing with related/subsequent problems on your own!
At the end of the day, I’d recommend taking a patient, non-emotional look at all aspects, ensure that you get an inspection from a qualified and certified inspector. By the way, Spec Rite Inspection’s is a certified inspector, a board certified Master Inspector, uses high tech thermal imaging during their inspections, currently a licensed General contractor as well (we don’t work on homes, but compare that for experience!)
We’re here if you need us!