Buying a home is an exciting time in anyone’s life as it represents new beginnings or new chapters. However, it’s important to ensure that your new home is safe, and that includes the fireplace and chimney. When you buy a home with a chimney, an inspection is vital. Here’s why you should always ask for an inspection.
Protect Your Investment
Homes are major investments, and for many people, property is the most expensive purchase they’ll ever make. It only makes sense that you would want to protect that investment by any means possible. Chimneys and fireplaces can be dangerous if they are not properly cleaned and maintained, so it’s important that you hire someone you trust to thoroughly inspect them and ensure they are sound. What’s more, proof of a good inspection and completed repairs may save you money on your homeowner’s insurance.
Doesn’t the Seller Have it Inspected?
This is a common question asked of real estate agents, and the answer is a bit complex. When someone sells a home, he or she is required by law to disclose any major issues, and inspections are part of the buying and selling process for this reason. However, even with that in mind, precursory inspections done on the seller’s behalf are often no more than a quick glance. Rather than taking the chance – and rather than taking anyone’s word for it – it’s often better to schedule your own inspection with a company you trust.
Different Inspection Levels
The National Fire Protection Association has laid out three different levels of chimney inspections. The most basic of these, a Level 1 inspection, occurs when no issues or damage have been reported. The most in-depth, a Level 3, occurs after a significant event such as a fire, earthquake, or severe weather that damaged the home. When buying a house, you should ask for a Level 2 inspection, which falls between these and provides a comprehensive overview of any potential issues. Inspectors will look at everything they can access, and they will use cameras to get down inside the flue, as well.
Negotiating a Fair Price
Finally, if you fail to have the chimney inspected on a home you’re buying, you may end up paying far more for that home than you should – especially if a significant problem exists. After the inspection, you will be provided with a list of potential issues and recommended repairs. If you ask for one, you can also receive a quote for the cost of those repairs. The homeowner is liable for those costs, which means they can either pay the company to complete the repairs or deduct the cost from the amount of your bid.
As you can see, though sellers will typically have chimney inspections carried out prior to putting their homes on the market, these inspections are often not as thorough as they should be. There are many benefits associated with asking for your own inspection, including ensuring your family’s safety, protecting your real estate investment, and making sure you pay a fair price for the home.