Charlotte Home Buyers Guide Step 7 – The Home Inspections, A Critical Step in the Process
The home inspection is imperative when purchasing a home, whether you’re buying a re-sale, distressed or even new construction home in Charlotte NC. A well-trained expert will inspect the home’s major systems with a typical general/mechanical home inspection, running approximately $300.00 and takes a few hours to complete, depending upon the size of the home. The inspector evaluates the condition and functionality of items both inside and outside the home and includes areas such as the roof, basement, heating, plumbing and electrical systems, kitchen appliances. A general structural evaluation is made and if items of concern arise, the inspector may refer you to a structural engineer. You will then be provided a detailed, written report, covering both general, informational items as well as items of concern. It is rare that a condition/concern is revealed that cannot be repaired; the cost of items found during the inspection is typically the only thing prohibitive in completing the purchase.
Visit www.radon.com for information regarding radon. This is an optional inspection that the general/mechanical inspector may be certified to do (be sure that check first) and may help allay fears of this non-smelling, invisible gas, which could affect your health. Most relocation companies require their sellers to perform a radon inspection so, if you’re purchasing a relocation home, request that the sellers share the radon inspection report.
Radon is radioactive gas emitted from the earth’s rock and soil and has been determined to be a cancer-causing gas. It is formed by the natural breakdown of uranium within the soil and typically rises from the ground to the air above and throughout your home via the following: cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around pipes, cavities inside walls or even the water supply, only if you have a well. It has been found in 1 in 15 homes in the US and while radon problems may be more common in some areas, any home may be at risk. The only way to know for sure is to have the test performed. When the radon monitoring unit is in place for the test, it is important to keep windows and outside doors closed, except for normal entry and exit. A radon level of 4 pico curies per liter or higher, a second test will be recommended. If the level remains elevated, it will be necessary to remediate the radon to reduce the radon level. Remediation depends upon the design of the home and could involve sealing entry points and/or increasing air circulation. The remedy is surprisingly inexpensive and we encourage our clients to seek a professional radon remediation expert to do the job. The cost of a radon inspection is approximately $150.00.
The termite inspection, commonly referred to as the “termite report” or “termite letter” as this used to be required by all lenders. It is no longer required but, we strongly suggest that you have your inspector provide one to you. Subterranean termites are the number one wood destroying pest in the US and are common in our area. We often joke that there are only two types of houses, “those that have termites and those that will.” The termite inspector will also check for carpenter bees, beetles, carpenter ants and wood rot. All of these, left unchecked and unresolved, can cause extensive damage to a home, sometimes of a structural nature, and can be costly to repair.
Well Water and Septic Systems
Although these are uncommon in our area, if you do have a well and/or a septic system, it should also be checked. This applies to those homeowners within the city limits who have had wells dug specifically for use in irrigation to cut down on the expense of watering your yard with Charlotte city water, as well as to avoid any water restrictions which may be induced by drought seasons. The quality of the well water will also be checked, including the standard coliform, pH, iron, manganese, harness and nitrates. Should the test results exceed the Board of Health standards, the seller will be required to remediate the problem.
Mold, Asbestos, Buried Fuel Tanks and Lead Paint
When purchasing a Charlotte home, be aware that each of these contaminates are red flags and ascertaining that the seller has remedied them should be a primary concern to you prior to Closing on the property. The costs of these inspections vary but, we are happy to provide you a list of qualified inspectors for any of these that are necessary to our sellers or our buyers. Mold remediation, also a major health concern, is not as costly as one would think and we have wonderful contractors who are qualified to perform the remediation.
Repair Request Preparation
When purchasing a Charlotte home with our new North Carolina Contract, you are basically purchasing the property ‘As-Is.’ This should have been explained to you prior to presenting the Offer. However, buyers are allowed to request that some or all of the repairs be made but, the sellers are not required to do this. Your Realtor® will review any items of concern with you during or immediately following inspection.