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Tips for Reading the Inspection Report

Posted by Sarah Steen on November 22, 2019
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Most likely you’ll receive your inspection report the day of inspection or within 24 hours of service.

Related Reading: What is the Inspection Period?

Download and, if necessary, print your inspection report as soon as possible. Inspection reports are typically 25-60 or more pages. Some reports are color coded:

  • Green=Okay
  • Blue=Minor Concern
  • Yellow=Moderate Concern
  • Red=Major Concern/Needs Repair

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the list of needed repairs. It doesn’t mean the house is falling apart! In fact, the image below is from an actual inspection report of a house that was only 18 months old. It was actually in great condition.

Click here to download our Home Buyer Guide

picture of color coding in a home inspection report when buying a home

You might already have an idea of which repairs to request from the seller depending on the report you receive and how familiar you are with home maintenance.

When you review your inspection keep the following in mind

Look at big ticket items:

  • Large appliances such as furnace and AC and the condition they are in.
    • Note: furnaces can be 20 years old and still work properly. The inspector will mark any appliances as “end of life” if they are past a certain age, regardless of condition and functionality.
    • One solution for end of life appliances could be to request a one year home warranty
  • Windows: they are expensive to repair and replace. Many times you’ll see either aluminum windows or “blind” windows
  • Roof: this is another high-ticket item.  The lender might have an issue with it if it’s an old or damaged one. If you have a t-lock shingle home you might pay insurance higher premiums because it is assumed that you will have replace this soon. T-Lock shingles are not manufactured anymore so roofs with this shingle cannot be repaired.
  • Sewer lines: expensive repair and will be an issue for any buyer.
  • Radon: installation for a mitigation system runs $1000-1500.
  • Structural issues: Unlike all the other items, if this is not correct your whole investment is threatened. Bring in experts and have everything evaluated.
  • Water and mold: Colorado does not have a lot of mold because we don’t have a lot of moisture in our climate. But it does happen. Pay attention to any water damage.

Health and safety items:

  • Loose stairs and steps will be an issue for certain lenders who will not fund your loan unless these items are repaired.
  • Items or additions without permits.

PRO TIP: When building codes change, the new standard items will be listed in the inspection reports as concerns. Keep in mind that any old standards are grandfathered in and are not required to be fixed until the specific item in the home is actually being replaced. Some items in this category are bigger issues than others. Let’s talk about it.

Identify all of the repairs and then prioritize your requests

  • It is also beneficial to know the approximate cost of repairs. We can discuss the items or you can have additional contractors out to the home to provide estimates. This information is good to have in case the seller does not want to have it fixed but is willing to give you credit towards the repair.
  • It’s tempting, but do not nickel and dime your sellers to death. If you want a [near] perfect home, you should consider buying a new construction home with a one-year home warranty.
  • Once we have discussed requests, we will submit them to the sellers in the Inspection Objection before the Inspection Objection Deadline.

Remember, our team is always here to help. Email us susanna@co-regroup.com or call 719-321-0800.

Click here to download your free home buyer guide