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Living in Colorado

Helping with your home buying & selling needs in Denver and surrounding communities.

Home Buyers Checklist

Structure

  • Secure and examine Seller’s Property
  • Check all appliances–age, function ability
  • Check age of the property with county
  • Check correct square footage with county
  • Check lot lines “survey” with county
  • Look for leaks, termites, rodents, Health Department structural damage. Check with a structural engineer.
  • Check for existence of Home Builder’s
  • Check for recommendations from home Warranty. Check with the builder inspection services.
  • Check for availability of Homeowners Warranty programs.

Environment

  • High power lines Disclosure
  • Urea formaldehyde foam insulation
  • Aluminum wiring and warranty
  • Lead-based paint
  • Underground storage tanks
  • Sewer/septic tanks
  • Check potability of well water with the
  • Radon check
  • Noise pollution
  • Air pollution
  • Check for flood plain
  • Septic system check
  • Waste pollution

Neighborhood

  • Schools–statistics, busing, test scores
  • Crime–call the local police department
  • Future development plans–call the local
  • Amenities–access to fire and police and sheriff’s departments, shops, schools, as-is” neighborhood recreation areas, and entertainment and arts

Miscellaneous

  • Utility bills – Public Service future plans. Check with the local school
  • Property Taxes – County Tax Assessor district
  • Check for Special District obligations
  • Request gap insurance on title policy
  • Check comparable values in the area planning authority
  • Have attorney review title commitment
  • If the home is not new, then it is being sold and 8. Telephone service

Inspection

It is a good idea to have your home inspected before you purchase it. A thorough inspection of the home by a professional from top to bottom reveals if there are any structural problems or if you will have to repair or maintain anything in the house as it now exists.

In addition, a home inspection can help insure a good buy – if you have it inspected BEFORE you sign the contract or you make certain your contract is contingent upon the inspection report’s findings, then if a serious problem is discovered, you are not locked into a bad risk. Instead, you can negotiate for a reduced sale price or you can ask the seller to repair the defect at his own expense or even back out of the purchase completely.

As a matter of fact, if a seller refuses to include a clause which allows you to cancel your contract and receive your deposit back in the event a major defect is uncovered, then refuse the deal because it was not worth your while in the first place. For instance, chronic seepage in the septic system, termite damage, sagging in the foundation, rotting of the roof, or other minor defects may cost you more than about $3,000 to repair. Here is a guide to having a prospective home inspected.

A good measure of an inspector’s competence is if he is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors or ASHI, which certifies inspectors who can pass various professional and educational requirements. ASHI members have either engineering, architectural, or technical degrees or extensive experience in the field of construction. Sometimes you can get an inspection on 24 hours notice, but allow about five days at best. The inspection fee for a typical one-family home is between $200 and $350 and the inspection takes several hours, depending on the size of the house.

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME RULES TO GUIDE YOU ON THE INSPECTION:

  • The inspection should be done during the day. A reputable service won’t schedule an inspection in the evening.
  • If possible, go with the inspector just to make sure he goes through the whole house. Also, you will receive valuable advice on how various appliances function and should be kept up.
  • Every house has problems, so be sure you understand whether a defect is a major or minor one. While you do not want to underestimate the cost or difficulty of making a repair, you also do not want to be scared away from the sale by a flaw that is easy and fairly inexpensive to repair. Just be cautious of inspectors who over dramatize defects because they are usually praised by purchasers when they find problems. Some become over-sensitive to defects and begin blowing them out of proportion. A good inspector does not gloss over weakness nor does he forget to point out a home’s positive aspects either. He aims to give a solid, clear overview of the pros and cons of the property.
  • Obtain a detailed, written report within two or three days of the on-site inspection.