Craig Franklin Chambers, Attorney at Law

March 21, 2015

Colorado Real Estate Contract Review: What Kinds of Inspections Should I Have When I Buy a Home

Denver Real Estate Law and Family Law Blog. (Vol 1.54) March 20, 2015

By Craig Franklin Chambers Esq. 7851 S. Elati Street #204, Littleton,  CO 80120

The Littleton Lawyer.

As a Littleton Lawyer practicing real estate law and divorce law in Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Englewood, Centennial, Denver, and the surrounding area, I am often asked by home-buyers: What kinds of inspections should I have when I buy a home?

A home purchase is often a part emotional/part financial transaction.  It is important to have a neutral set of eyes closely examine the components of the home you are considering buying.  In my review of residential real estate contracts for resale homes, I encourage a full and thorough inspection of the home.

Usually a home inspection is conducted by a professional home inspector who charges between $200-$500 for an inspection of the home, depending on the inspectors  pricing, the scope of the inspection and the size of the home.

There are no licenses or educational requirements for professional home inspectors, and you can chose anyone you want to conduct the home inspection. There are certifications, such as ASHI, but this is not government licensing or regulation.I recommend inspectors with an engineering and/or building and construction background.

Usually a professional home inspector inspects the major components of the home and  submit a checklist or similar report pointing out flaws and defects that the buyer can present to the seller to document the problem with the property.

In addition to the standard home inspection, a buyer may wish to pursue specialized inspections on the home. I call these inspections specialized because they are usually not included in a standard home inspection and are provided by service providers for additional fees.

These  include an inspection or test for the presence of lead-based paint for homes built prior to 1978 as advised by the EPA in  a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure form. However, because lead-based paint is a dangerous element in a home only if it is ingested, most people do not test for it.

Other common specialized inspections include tests for the presence of mold, radon gas, asbestos, and a sewer scope to determine the functionality of the sewer line.  Another common inspection  is for termites which are rare in Colorado so the termite inspection is rarely performed here.

Contrary to popular belief, most lenders do not conduct an inspection of the home. The lender is likely to perform an appraisal of the home, but the appraisal is a determination of value to secure the loan and not a full, thorough inspection of the property.

It is the buyer's responsibility to apprise himself as to the condition of the home, and  to be satisfied with the condition of the home he is buying. Although the Seller is required to disclose latent defects in the home, and usually has information about the property, it is still wise to conduct your own thorough inspections. Therefore, when I review a standard real estate purchase contract, I recommend the contract allow enough time for a buyer to have as many inspections as he wants.

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    Denver Real Estate and Family Law Attorney

    Licensed to practice law in Colorado since 1997, I have a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from the University of Denver.

    7851 S. Elati St. #101 Littleton, CO. 80120

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