How Do I Protect Myself from Hidden Problems in a Home?
Nothing takes away the excitement of homebuying like having to conduct extensive, pricey repairs. We’ve all heard the horror stories of homebuyers excited about their purchase only to move in and discover mold in the bathroom, damage to the roof, or any other number of costly problems. So how do you protect yourself against possible defects before you finalize the purchase your new home? Get ready for a big sigh of relief, because we have not one, but three layers of protection for you!
First and foremost, during the transaction process the seller is legally obligated to disclose any known issues with the home on what’s called the “Seller Property Condition Disclosure”. This is your first layer of protection. The document will detail any present or prior problems, defects, or damage to the property according to the seller’s knowledge. If anything is noted, the seller then will provide a detailed description of the issue for the benefit of the buyer.
It’s important to note however, that right at the top of the document (in all caps, might we add) it states that the buyer is advised not to rely on the company, or any agents of the company, for a determination regarding the physical or legal condition of the property. Basically, it’s saying that the buyer cannot rely solely on the document to disclose any and all issues with the house.
Now, that may seem weird, but it’s a reminder that it’s the responsibility of the buyer to independently hire a home inspector to conduct his own investigation. So, why have the seller provide a property condition disclosure in the first place? Well, with the information provided on the seller property condition disclosure, you are better equipped to ask your home inspector follow-up questions if you notice anything that looks questionable on the form.
During your home inspection, the home inspector should walk you through each part of the house and let you know if anything looks to be broken or faulty. During this walk-through, it’s a good idea to ask your inspector for repair estimates when a problem is detected. Your home inspection is your second layer of protection, and the last layer is a home warranty.
A home warranty is period of time in which you are protected from the high cost of unexpected failures to major systems and appliances in your home by repairing or replacing them. It fills in coverage where your homeowners insurance doesn't apply. And as an added bonus, when you buy a house with one of the BHURDinUtah team members, we are usually able to negotiate in our contract that the sellers will pay for a one-year home warranty.
So, hopefully knowing that you have a couple layers of protection gives you a little peace of mind. If have further questions, give one of our agents a call. When you work with a BHURDinUtah agent, we promise to be with you during every step of the homebuying process, so that your experience is as worry-free as possible.