All the hard work you’ve done to buy a home in Philadelphia is almost over. The seller has accepted your offer, the financing is in place, and you’re in the final stretch to close the sale. Before you can cross the finish line, you need to get through the home inspection so you know what it is you’re buying. You might be thinking, based on what you’ve heard or read, that the home inspection can kill the deal. Fortunately, this isn’t how a home inspection works, but it can complicate the home buying process. Here’s what to expect from a home inspection before you close on your new Philadelphia home.
Why Inspect the Home Prior to Sale
The physical structure of a home is subject to all kinds of external and internal forces over the course of its lifetime. Foundations shift, materials fail, and features like plumbing and electric fall out of code. Sometimes these are issues that need addressing before the home is sold, and sometimes they’re not. A home inspector is trained to identify and explain problems along with their severity. The inspector also provides recommendations over their repair and who’s responsible for getting it done. If you’re worried about a home inspection, talk to your Philadelphia mortgage company representative to learn more about how the process works.
What Happens When a Problem is Found?
What happens depends on the type of problem and its seriousness or severity. Philadelphia is full of homes built with old materials and building techniques that are outlawed today. However, these homes get “grandfathered” in which means if the condition existed at the time the laws changed, the owner isn’t forced to bring the home into compliance. When the home goes under sale, the inspector has the job of finding issues that are out of code and recommending repair or replacement.
The same goes with structural and cosmetic issues with the home. Sometimes a cosmetic issue leads to bigger problems because water can leak in and soak into the wood structure or cause mold to bloom. Or there’s a small issue that can turn into a big one over time and should be addressed before it reaches that stage.
Can a Defective Feature in the Home Ruin the Sale?
Again, it depends. The inspector has the job of pointing out the flaws in the home and noting them along with making a recommendation of repair or replace. You can still buy the home, but a defect has the potential to lower the purchase price because it has to be repaired no matter what. Ignoring the issue can cause the seller to lower the price and accept an “as-is” offer. Or worse, the home becomes unsellable until it’s been fixed.
Ultimately, the inspection won’t ruin the sale of the home unless that’s what you want. What the inspection does is push the home closer to the final closing date or send both parties back to the negotiating table.
A Defect in the Home Can Work in Your Favor
A home with a serious problem that’s out of code and is putting the structure at risk is something that has to be fixed. The party responsible for doing the work can be negotiated prior to closing. A seller may decide to pay for the repairs out of their own pocket, or they’ll discount the sale price. A seller makes that decision based on what makes the most sense for them. Meanwhile, you get a home with a fresh repair or replacement and isn’t likely to give you further trouble while you own the home.
The home inspector is working on behalf of you, the buyer, and doesn’t have a vested interest in the sale or non-sale of the home. It’s his job to help you buy a home that’s safe and ready for occupancy. Make sure to talk about the home closing process with a representative from your Philadelphia mortgage company.