A professional inspection of your home might be one of the best investments you can make. You should exercise due diligence and obtain all the disclosures available from the seller. The bigger the purchase the more time people spend researching it, and buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you can make. By law in Illinois, sellers are obligated to complete a real estate disclosure report.
Some examples of flaws that require disclosure:
- Plumbing System: water treatment and sprinkler systems, swimming pools, and water heater
- Electrical System: heating, air conditioning, and ventilations systems
- Defects and Hazardous Conditions: floodplain locations, roof/ceiling/chimney conditions, septic, and sewer issues
- Violations: Any violation that has not been corrected relating to the property, in accordance with local, state, or federal laws or regulations
- Presence of Asbestos or Lead Paint: Harmful chemicals that may be found in the construction of older homes
This list is not complete. Talk to your realtor to get a current copy of Illinois’ seller’s disclosure list. If the seller knowingly conceals anything on this list, you have the right to take legal action.
There are some things to consider when looking to buy a condominium as well. There might be some restrictions with the deed or code. It is a good idea to get a copy of the minutes from the last few meetings that the condominium’s board held. This will show you any recent problems or planned expenses that may affect you.
Your broker can help answer any questions that you have about seller disclosures and recommend that you hire a professional home inspector who will conduct a thorough examination of the property.
Home Warranty Protection
If you’re purchasing a newly built home, the builder/developer may offer a full or limited warranty on materials and workmanship, typically for one year from the date of purchase. At closing, the builder will also assign to you the manufacturer’s warranties that were provided to them for materials, appliances, and fixtures.
If you’re purchasing a resale home, you can buy warranties that will protect you against most ordinary breakdowns for at least the first year of ownership. The seller may also offer you a warranty as part of the overall package.
Things to Consider About a Home Warranty
It’s comforting to know that your new home is under warranty. When you buy a new home, everything might be in good working order. However, there’s no telling when something will go wrong. Home warranties are a supplement to home inspections. Inspections identify any current problems in the property; a warranty protects you from future ones. There are several points worth considering about a home warranty.
Your lender will require an appraisal. This is neither a true home inspection nor an assessment of the home’s true market value. The appraisal reassures the lender that the value of the house is at least as great as the loan amount.