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Congratulations!  You found the house of your dreams.  The offer has been accepted… contingent upon your “Houdini” clauses, like a termite inspection, home inspection, mold inspection, lawyer’s approval…

But What Happens When the Inspector Finds a Problem

Over the weekend I did another inspection for a home buyer. Again, I found many things that were wrong – everything from simple repairs to what I would consider major code violations.  None of this should come as a surprise to a home buyer.

Why?  Over time, things break, wear out, and reach the end of their useful life. Previous homeowners make repairs or changes themselves that are unsafe and in violation of the various building codes to save money. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a home is not worth buying.

What to Do if There Are Problems?

If your inspector finds problems, ask him for a “guestimate” of what it would cost to repair the items. You can use that as a negotiating tool to see if the seller would be willing to lower the sale price.

Don’t, however, agree to let the seller “make the repairs.” They will typically not make the repairs per the building codes or they will hide problems instead of correcting them. If for some reason you do let the seller make repairs, get the home re-inspected by the original home inspector.

A True Story

The buyer of a home I inspected (and even wrote about two weeks ago) decided to let the seller “fix” the safety violations and more. I reinspected the property only to find that the seller “corrected” the pool pump wiring problem – but added new electrical code violations, and replaced the front door without a permit. To make matters worse, the door was installed in an unsafe manner.

The buyer loves the house and the seller is holding firm on the sale price. It looks like the sale will go through and the buyer will have to pay to have the issues corrected.

Would You Let Your Daughter Buy the House?

If the house meets all of your requirements and you can hire a reputable contractor to make the house safe, then yes.  When you are thinking of the cost of the house, you need to add the cost of the repairs.

And yes, this happened to my daughter and son-in-law. The house they fell in love with was fully remodeled… but the seller did the electric work himself, had a staircase built that was not to code, and even installed some plumbing incorrectly. But, the house was exactly what they were looking for, in the price range they could afford, and in a neighborhood they liked.

I explained to them, the cost for repairs is just another cost of the home.

Very few pre-owned houses are perfect – the key is to find a house you like and that is in good enough condition that, after a reputable contractor corrects the few flaws found, it is safe.


If you want a professional remodeling experience or a home inspection with a home remodeling expert’s view, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.

Knowing your options now, will help you be prepared in the future. If you are buying a home, knowing what needs to be corrected and the costs to do so, can help you decide if the home is right for you.

For all of your home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.

Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.

Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.