[This is part of a series of posts on the home buying process I'm going thru. To see the full set, visit the house category archives.]
Today was the big day: Inspections. The day when I get to find out about all the stuff that's broken, the termite damage, and random other stuff to knock me back to the reality of buying a unit that's as old as I am.
Being as it was my first time in the house with a lot of time on my hands, I took the opportunity to snap about 90 pictures. Some are to show folks who ask "what's it look like?" while others are there to remind me of the trouble spots the inspectors pointed out.
So now that you're back from viewing all the pictures and wondering what the heck everything is (since I've been too busy to add captions -- give me a day or two), you're probably wondering how everything went. Well, at least one or two of you are.
To make a long story short (I hope), Silicon Valley (or the Santa Clara Valley) has a major termite problem. This whole area used to be orchards, and there's an abundance of little wood-eating critters in the ground. The termite inspection is a big deal for any home buyer. And, in this case, it's also a big deal for the seller.
Because the contract stipulates the any termite problems have to be handled by the seller--unless they're covered by the HOA. In Sunnyvale and Mountain View, the sellers typically have inspections done when putting the property on the market. Potential bidders can then obtain a "disclosure packet" that contains all the necessary inspection reports and such.
In San Jose, however, it's common to wait until a winning big has been chosen and let the buyer pay for the inspections (yippie).
Anyway, Jeff from Able Exterminators found a fair amount of termite damage that will need to be handled. A bit in the front exterior, but most of the problems are in the back (south-facing side) and the detached garage. The wood and lattice overhang above the back patio (see this page) is actually connected to the exterior of the house (see this page), and that's made for some interesting problems it seems. If I get an electronic copy of the report, I'll post a link to it.
At $50 (there was a special running), the inspection was a steal. But I suspect they're gonna make up for it in follow-up work. I should have the full report in 48 hours. We'll see how the sellers respond.
The house inspectors were way high-tech. Cori and Richard from Gillespie Home Inspections arrived, sporting fancy tablet PCs running Windows XP and with some sort of wireless network that I didn't get a chance to check out. The divided up the work and went about the business of poking, prodding, and crawling all over.
As I was writing this, my realtor send me a copy of their report (in PDF no less, but for some reason, I have to read it on Windows--my Linux Acrobat claims it is encrypted). Cool. The bottom line is that they did find some problems, but nothing earth-shattering or deal-breaking. Just like Jeff, when they were done, they walked me thru their findings to make sure I knew what they had found. They seemed to be quite thorough and worth the $350 paid.
Next step(s): Reviewing inspection reports, awaiting Home Owners' Association documents, and contacting my insurance company.
Posted by jzawodn at February 02, 2004 11:15 PM