Vail Daily column: Is a ‘standard’ inspection enough? | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Is a ‘standard’ inspection enough?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan,

We just put a home in the valley under contract and are now starting the process of vetting the house to see that there are no major issues that will cost us a lot of money in the near future. We have the standard inspection period and our Realtor has recommended three inspectors that we have already called. After talking to all three of them, I am not sure if we will be certain there is no major issue when they are done. What is your opinion of a standard inspection? Is that enough? I am very concerned, as my friends keep telling me horror stories of what can go wrong. You have been doing this a long time, so are they right? Thanks.

Dear Worried,

Your concerns and your friends stories are not wrong, but you do not to need to fret. Many of our inspectors are very good, but they are hired to look for visual flaws and normal surface issues, which are important, but these inspectors do not do in depth investigations. So, for instance, our inspectors will check all of the outlets, appliances, plumbing and heating to see if they work now, and they will look at the roof, foundation etc, but will suggest you have further investigation by an expert if they have any concerns at all.

Many of our inspectors are very good, but they are hired to look for visual flaws and normal surface issues, which are important, but these inspectors do not do in depth investigations. So, for instance, our inspectors will check all of the outlets, appliances, plumbing and heating to see if they work now, and they will look at the roof, foundation etc, but will suggest you have further investigation by an expert if they have any concerns at all.

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A few years back, we had buyers for a bank owned property that had recently come on the market and there was so much interest the bank said they would not accept any contingencies.

As it turned out, 9 inspections were done on that property and numerous offers made on it. The inspector we used, inspected the house twice, once for us and once for another buyer. To my knowledge, no major issues came up and my buyers were able to secure the property. Two weeks after closing, the furnace died. When we had the heating expert in, he pointed out things they would have seen to know that it was on its last legs, even though it still worked when the inspector turned it on. Luckily, the buyers were so pleased with the property they were fine with buying a new furnace.

Get an Expert's opinion

It became very clear to us to encourage our buyers to investigate more if they are concerned with major issues, especially if it is a foreclosure, often rented or not often used, older home, etc. So my suggestion is that you have the inspection and then if you and/or the inspector want to have the heating and/or cooling systems, plumbing, roof, foundation or anything else checked, have your knowledgeable Realtor direct you to specialists in each of these fields, and have them give you their expert opinions after a thorough inspection on any and all of your concerns. Good luck.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.SkiAnd TeeHomes.com.