Buying Property

home purchase

Buying a house, townhouse or flat?

Imagine what could go wrong with your home purchase! Houses are made up of hundreds of different parts and materials from a nail to a roof tile and much, much more!

New or used, the home purchase will most likely be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make! Therefore, with this type of investment, it only makes sense to have a professional home inspection done beforehand.

If you’re thinking, “Why do I need to spend the time and money on a home inspection?”

My question to you is “Why take any unnecessary chances with your hard-earned money?

Protecting your home purchase

An inspection and report will give you a clear, concise picture of the important components and systems of the home. Therefore, you can make an informed decision on the purchase of the home. In doing so, you avoid buying a new home only to spend thousands of rand on unexpected or unforeseen problems.

My thorough, impartial inspection will let you identify any minor or major repairs or maintenance issues. Furthermore, the inspection report is a valuable tool in the bargaining stage to address any issues before finalising your home purchase.

Moreover, you will have a highly trained, experienced and dedicated professional on your side. My report will help you make the right decision with your property purchase.

Don’t make the mistake so many other home buyers are making over and over again!

Protect your investment by having a home inspection!

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » home defects

Home Inspection Contingencies

inspection contingency

Put a Home Inspection Contingency in Your “Offer to Purchase”

inspection contingency and sales price
Buying a house is not a game of Monopoly! Waiving the home inspection and inspection contingency may cost you much more than the cost of a home inspection!

Home Inspection Contingencies

If you don’t believe in having a home inspection you should realise that your investment is at risk.  In reality, a home inspection contingency is your only safeguard where the voetstoots clause forms part of the sales price and contract.

In South Africa, the voetstoots clause is part of the purchase contract in most of the property sales. But, unfortunately, you will not find any home inspection contingencies in any purchase contracts.

You may not consider that a home inspection contingency is a big deal! In that case, ask yourself why a seller will refuse to consider your offer that contains a home inspection contingency. It has occurred to some of my clients! I told them to consider it a lucky escape!  

In addition, a seller selling a house below market value most probably has serious defects. Don’t fall for reasons like the seller is leaving for overseas or retiring to the coast.

A home inspection contingency should be added as part of the purchase contract when you have a home inspection. It means you can cancel the sale or try to negotiate repairs based on the results of the inspection.

In most instances, you should negotiate for at least a week to conduct a home inspection. The time can be shortened or increased during offer negotiations.

An example of a home inspection contingency

“The Buyers’ offer is contingent upon a satisfactory inspection within  7 (or _____ ) working days. Upon receipt of the results of such inspection, the Buyers may request in writing at any time within the agreed period that the Sellers make certain repairs or that the Sellers reduce the sales price to compensate for such defect(s). Such a request to repair or reduce the price does not terminate the contract and the Sellers shall have _____ days from receipt of such request to agree to make such repairs or reduce the sales price. If the Sellers do not agree, the Buyers shall have _____ days to waive the contingency and accept the property “as-is” or to declare the contract null and void. “

The contingency expiry date

The minimum time period you should try and negotiate is 7 working days from acceptance of your offer. At a squeeze, 5 working days may be sufficient if there are no serious problems, but it puts a lot of pressure on everyone!

Setting the date that a home inspection contingency should be released depends on the contingency you negotiate with the seller. It may not automatically expire unless you take a specific action such as signing a contingency release. That is if a release is part of the contingency agreement. Therefore, if it expires before you have it inspected, you lose the right to have the home inspected.

When your sales contract has a home inspection contingency, it is important to conduct the inspection as soon as possible. I may recommend that you call a roofing contractor to do further investigation of a problem in the ceiling space. But, for example, you might have to contact several roofing contractors before finding someone available in the time frame you need.

Therefore, it is very important to keep the seller and agent in the picture of what is happening. Furthermore, you should advise the seller on your decision to continue or to negotiate a better sales price or whether you intend to withdraw from the purchase contract before the expiry date. If you don’t, you may have to honour the conditions of the sale.

Types of Home Inspections

A home inspection involves many components, which are primarily structural and visual. However, if I discover defects beyond my area of expertise, I will recommend that you consult an expert.

For example, if the home’s water pressure is low, I will recommend an inspection by a licensed plumber. There could be a blockage the water supply system, or the plumbing pipes could be corroded. I may not be able to identify such defects by noticing the low water pressure. If I recommend further inspections in the report, you may wish to call a specialist for advice.

This is also why an inspection contingency and the time period is so important! It gives you time for specialist inspections if they are required!

Specialist inspections may include any of the following:

  • Pest and termites
  • Serious structural cracks
  • Electrical wiring
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Lead-based paint
  • Foundation and basement
  • Sewer or septic system
  • Soil stability
  • Trees and vegetation
  • Water systems and plumbing
  • Mould
  • Asbestos

Importantly, don’t forget to ask for the building plans and other important documents!

Disclaimer: This inspection contingency article is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Real estate procedures and documents may vary. Consult a real estate professional or lawyer in your area if you have specific questions about this subject.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » home defects

A Smelly Shower

Smells in your shower

shower

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Often what happens in a shower, while the tiler is tiling the floor, is that excess tile adhesive and grout is washed down the shower drain. As a result, some of this grout may be lodged somewhere in the drainage system causing a blockage.

The following may have happened:

  • Either the trap or drainage pipes were damaged during an attempt to unblock the drain.
  • Grout is lodged in the trap and drain pipes.
  • The stub stack vent valve may be below the level of the highest plumbing fixtures on the drainage system in the bathroom.  As a result, the lowest fixture, such as the shower P-trap water seal may be syphoned out of the shower trap.

Of course, a combination of all three may occur as well. Unless the shower trap or drain pipes are damaged, you should be able to handle the cleanup yourself.

Mould in the P-trap

If your shower drain smells musty, you most likely have active mould growing underneath the drain cover. But, if your drain smells like rotten eggs or sewage, you’re either smelling bacteria from a clogged or dirty drain or sewer gases that have escaped from your drainage pipes.

As part of their metabolic process, active mould spores release a gas that has a distinct musty smell. In addition, the gas can be dangerous. If inhaled, it can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Continue reading “A Smelly Shower”

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