Whether you plan to buy, sell or stay where you are for now, a home inspection can be a valuable tool in different situations.
Though the housing market in SA is up and down, and having a home inspection done is still a relatively new thing in SA, Richard Diesel, Certified Home Inspector and owner of Independent Property Inspections in the Southern Cape, is still in the midst of his busy season.
As he explains, “The purpose of a home inspection is to identify the condition of the home, especially defects, safety and health issues that would affect the buyer’s decision or could cause health problems to home owners.”
While Richard recommends a full home inspection for potential buyers, he also suggests considering other kinds of specialist inspections such as,
Snag list inspections, Moisture & Mould Inspections, Maintenance Inspections etc., which are all separate.
For instance, “If you are building or doing alteration off plan or buying a newly built home, a list of all the snags is essential prior to you making your final payment to the contractors.” he says.
His most prevalent find during full inspections is damp problems. Structural and geyser issues found in the Attic are common, as well. Sometimes damp in the lower parts of the walls can be resolved by extending the downspouts or increasing the slope around the house to drain water away from the foundation or just reseal the shower floor. These issues can easily be located with the state of the art equipment, Thermographic imagery(Infra-Red).
Whenever selling, it’s smart to stay ahead of the game.
“It’s very important for the seller to do a pre-listing inspection to identify items that can easily be fixed,” says Richard. “It might not be anything major, but first-time and overseas buyers can get overwhelmed by too many small issues.”
“It is the inspector’s job to describe and identify those problems,” says Richard.
A maintenance inspection is an option for anyone not planning a move that has lived in the same house for years without a thorough check of its overall condition.
“A lot of issues might relate to the exterior that people don’t see every day,” says Richard. “Over time, they can really create a very expensive problem.”
Though some homeowners have parts of their property checked regularly, Richard says it’s not a bad idea to have a damp, plumbing and electrical inspection conducted to look for problems once a year. He has discovered everything from extremely high levels of mould, due to bad ventilation, during a visit to a friend’s house to a leaking toilet while working and a hot wire at a plug due too current over loading…
Buyers are becoming street wise in making much wiser and informed decisions before entering into a sale agreement.
Many sellers are starting to cotton onto the added benefit of having a home inspection done pre-listing and then using the report as their “Disclosure Clause” and bargaining tool.
“Staging homes and making major repairs in advance helps them sell,” says Richard.
“Everybody is more aware of big issues like roofing, but it could be the small foxes that damage the bank account”.
Still, he says, “On average, there are still lots of hidden problems and minor problems that can become major.”
He hopes that soon all the players in the real estate game will have a change in mindsets and sellers and buyers can progress with confidence in concluding quick problem free deals.