Suppose you have moved to the perfect owner-occupied home, on the edge of the center with a garden. You are just sitting in that garden enjoying the warm morning sun when you hear a disturbing crackling sound. Where it comes from? The roof. Because that turns out to be in less good condition than you could see at first glance and is about to collapse. Help! Just did a building inspection. So do it differently next time. But then the question remains, such a building inspection: before or after an offer?
Building inspection before or after bid, what makes sense?
Let’s start at the beginning: what is an architectural, or also technical, inspection? During such an inspection, the structural condition of your future home is carefully inspected by a professional expert. He provides a clear report describing what maintenance needs when this maintenance must take place, and approximately how expensive it will be.
Essential or not?
A building inspection costs money, about $ 350 to be exact. Is that really necessary? After all, buying a house already entails enough additional costs and you can also see for yourself how the frames are looking? Maybe, but remember that an expert knows exactly where and what to look for. Think of the condition of the roof, ceiling, and floor of the basement.
By the way, there are certain situations where lenders require a building inspection before they approve your mortgage. For example, if the appraisal shows that the costs for overdue maintenance of the house are 10% or more of the house value.
Handy, then, such a check. But beware: the inspector only inspects what he sees. It does not break or open anything, for example, to detect a leak. Even after doing a building inspection, you are therefore not fully assured that you are not buying a house with hidden defects. However, the risk is much smaller.
Building Inspection? Yes, please!
Clearly, a building inspection is indeed essential when buying a house. But then the big question remains: when is the right time to have it done? Before or after you have made an (opening) bid? In principle, this can be done at any time, but each time has its pros and cons:
Before you bid
On paper, this is the most ideal situation: have a structural inspection carried out before bidding. This way you know exactly what you are bidding on and you can base the amount of the bid on the outcome of the inspection. In addition, any flaws that have come to light during the inspection may give you a better negotiating position. Why is this only an ideal situation on paper? Simple: usually there is no time for it. You have to act quickly, especially when you buy in an overheated housing market. There is often no time for a second viewing, let alone for a building inspection.
During the negotiations
You can therefore also choose to make an offer in advance and at the same time schedule a building inspection. This does mean that, as with the above option, you will spend money on the inspection of a house for which you are not sure whether you are eligible for the purchase at all.
Suppose the seller initially wants a higher price for the house than you intend to spend on it. Then that building inspection is a waste of money. But it is also possible that your offer is accepted immediately or that you receive a counteroffer and are negotiating while the inspection is taking place. Are you already going to sign a purchase contract? You can still have a building inspection done. You have a statutory cooling-off period of 3 days after signing the preliminary purchase contract.
After you sign the purchase contract
Have you not yet done a building inspection, but do you want to make an offer? Then it is smart to include this as a resolutive condition. This means that you make an offer subject to, for example, financing and that building inspection. It is smart to think about how much you want to spend extra on maintenance for the house. For example, you can bid on the condition that the inspection does not show necessary maintenance, the costs of which are higher than $ 5,000.
A lot comes at you, huh, while bidding on a house? And then you also have to have a building inspection done! That is why we can imagine that you would like to read carefully what such an inspection entails, how you arrange one and what it yields for you.
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