What repairs are required to be made after a home inspection?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A home inspector does not require anybody to fix anything after a home inspection, no matter how bad the condition of a home. The inspector lists components that are deteriorated, defective, not functional, leaking, and so forth, follwed by recommendations for repair or replacement.

    But what gets fixed, and who fixes it, is determined by the sales contract terms and any after-the-inspection negotiations. When a homebuyer tells a homeowner “The home inspector says you have to replace the water heater,” that’s nonsense. We only recommend replacement, and do not specify who should do it.

    If the sales contract specifies a dollar amount for certain repairs, then the buyers can choose which repairs they want done. And sometimes it’s possible to negotiate a little more. Even with an “as-is” contract, it may be possible to get a seller to do a few repairs rather than lose the deal. But often the minor repairs don’t get accomplished by either party, and the new homeowner simply moves in, expecting to fix things later.

    There are two situations, however, where repairs are required:

  1. If the home is older and the insurance company requires a 4-point inspection to be submitted with the application, then the underwriter may specify certain repairs—such as roof repair, water heater replacement, or repair of unsafe electrical wiring—be made before issuing the policy.
  2. Some jurisdictions now have minimum safety standards that a home must meet before the sale can be made. It can be as simple as verifying that there are functional smoke alarms, or as complicated as the list of possible repair items required by the Truth-In-Sale of Housing Ordinance of Minneapolis, Minnesota, shown below, courtesy of Reuben Saltzman, of Structure Tech Home Inspection.

    Inspectors try to highlight any major safety defects for immediate repair but, again, we cannot force anybody to do anything to the house, which is the fundatmental difference between a city or county building inspector and a home inspector.

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

 How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

Should a home inspection scare you?

 Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

 Can I do my own home inspection?

 How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

 What makes a house fail the home inspection?

 The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

 What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

 What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

 What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

 What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

 What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

 What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

 What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

 What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

       Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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