…I mean from a maintenance standpoint. As I work with buyers and sellers of homes, I’m frequently struck by the surprise some home sellers experience when the buyer has an inspection done, and report findings about various things that are less than perfect about the house. In North Carolina, our offer to purchase has contained language that allows the buyer to get an inspection and ask for repairs for anything not performing the function for which it was designed, including leaks- you know how the roof is designed to keep water off your head in the living room. That means that the buyer can ask for repairs of functional things but not for cosmetic things. Still, there are cosmetic issues that if left too long can become functional issues and start to cost some major cash to fix. I’ve found that lots of sellers (owners) think their houses are in top condition and are shocked to find out that needed repairs may be costly. That’s one reason that I always recommend to a seller to go ahead and have an inspection done and make needed repairs so that repairs are not an issue going toward closing. Believe me when I say they definitely can derail a closing, either temporarily or permanently.
Even if you’re not going to sell your home, it’s probably a good idea to have an inspector go over your house every few years in order to catch things going wrong before they demand extensive repairs. Houses are going to require maintenance of some type on an almost constant basis. Undiscovered problems can become very expensive repairs, and from my experience, many homeowners have those undiscovered problems brewing all the time.
What to do? One option to consider is to have a professional home inspector go through your house periodically to report what he’s found and catch little problems before they get big. They are trained and licensed professionals who will likely see things that most homeowners will miss. They’ll do this and give you a detailed report for between $300 and $500. Some include an additional warranty. They can also arrange for additional tests like water quality, septic systems, radon, etc. Understand that they don’t have x-ray vision, so they can’t see behind walls, but I guarantee they’ll see more than most homeowners and give you the chance to “nip it in the bud” as Barney Fife used to say.
If you think you’d like to take this approach, I’ll be happy to recommend several home inspectors to you. You can interview them and choose the inspector that you like the most. I don’t get any financial consideration from them. I just get the satisfaction or recommending a good service provider to my friends and maybe saving them some trouble and expense down the road.