Beacon Hill condos for sale: Home inspection checklist
I always recommend having a complete home inspection when buying or selling a downtown Boston condo. I believe it protects the buyers and the sellers. Here are a few little things
homeowners can do to get the house ready for an inspection that can make a big difference.
- Remove the old parts the contractor left by the furnace or water heater. Extra worn-out parts may be misinterpreted.
- Make sure every light fixture in the house has a working light bulb in it. Inspectors may suggest a fixture isn’t working if the bulb is burned out.
- If I had a fuse box I would remove any old and all-new extra fuses and put them away.
- Clean the surfaces of the water heater and furnace.
- Make sure all screens are on the windows.
- Make sure all windows open and close.
- Check under every sink and remove any buckets under sinks so that inspectors do not assume a past or present leak. If the bucket is indeed catching leaking water leave the bucket in place and make sure the leak is noted on the seller’s disclosure.
- Make sure all electrical outlets and light switches have covers. If they don’t buy some and install them.
- If extension cords are being used due to lack of outlets disconnect and remove the extension cords.
Home inspectors are not licensed or really regulated in Minnesota. Sometimes they overstep their area of expertise. I have had inspectors state that heating plants need to be replaced when they just needed a repair. I have had inspectors suggest that all of the windows in a house should be replaced. If the buyer makes such a request it is best for that buyer to buy new construction and to find another buyer.
Boston Beacon Hill condos are old and most have old windows. Newer windows are not always better than older windows either.
Real estate agents and inspectors have all sorts of ideas about what will or will not pass an FHA inspection/appraisal. They are wrong most of the time. Peeling paint is usually an issue but circuit breakers and old windows are not. Read up on FHA guidelines
A Beacon Hill home inspection is an important step of the downtown Boston condo-buying process, one that shouldn’t be overlooked. In some cases, mortgage lenders make property inspections part of the conditions to be satisfied before closing. If this isn’t the case with your pending transaction, you should insist on it even if you end up paying for it out of your own pocket. While there are some procedural differences between the inspections conducted on single-family homes and downtown Boston condos or lofts, the goal is the same: you want to get a comprehensive report about the condition of the property for the purpose of determining the value of the transaction, which means your real estate agent could use the report to negotiate the contract. Here are six things to look for in your condo inspection.
In downtown Boston, home inspectors are certified by the Massachusetts Real Estate Inspection Association. They’re expected to carry proper insurance, and they tend to specialize in certain types of properties or Boston housing markets. Ask your Beacon Hill real estate agent to recommend a seasoned inspector, preferably one who has already completed inspections in the condominium building you’re interested in.
This isn’t part of the report. It’s something you’ll have to ask for, and it may require a walk-through of the Beacon Hill condo building. The condo association or management entity will rarely allow the inspector to fully inspect the structure, but some observations can go a long way toward your final decision. For example, an elevator that lacks a current safety certificate would be a cause for concern.
Aside from structural issues, inspectors look for signs of previous leaks. Ask your inspector for an opinion on how long the current flooring will last under heavy foot traffic.
If the Beacon Hill condo for sale you’re interested in has its own HVAC system, this would require an inspection that starts with the unit, continues with the thermostat, and includes all ducts. In the case of central HVAC, the inspector will have to be allowed to enter utility rooms.
Needless to say, inspectors will immediately let you know about existing and previous leaks, but you also need to know how long the current fixtures, pipes, and connections will last. Something else to keep in mind is whether the toilets and shower heads are compliant with California water conservation regulations.
6. Punch List Issues & Opinions
Depending on the style of the inspector, you may get a concise punch list along with a short narrative, but you can always ask for more about your Beacon Hill condo. If there are issues that need to be repaired, ask for an opinion on the costs and whether they should be addressed right away. For example, leaky pipes need to be fixed immediately, but they may not cost too much to repair.
Buying a Beacon Hill condo for sale can be both exciting and stressful, but you can relieve some of the anxiety by making sure you understand the important details involved in the home’s inspection. For advice on inspections or any aspect of buying real estate in downtown Boston, rely on the experienced professionals at Ford Realty Inc. Give one of our friendly agents a call today at 617-595-3712.