Margaret Woda, a real estate agent in Woda Maryland poses a very good question, "should renters get a home inspection?" Although this is not common in Colorado, it's a serious question that renters should consider.
If you are considering a home, condo or townhouse rental in the Metro Denver area, please consider the value of a home inspection.
Crofton renters recently asked me how much it would cost to have a home inspection before they move into the property.
Frankly, this isn't customary in this area... but the question got me thinking...
The typical rental move-in checklist deals primarily with cosmetic issues: The carpet, walls, windows... But what about the things you can't see? These are the things a home inspection would disclose.
Wouldn't you like to know before moving into the property if some of the electrical outlets aren't grounded? What if there's an open electrical junction box in the attic? If the roof leaks or basement floods? Does the furnace have a cracked heat exchanger? Is there aluminum wiring and, if so, are there any safety precautions the tenant should take? Would you recognize a wood-destroying insect if you saw it? Was the deck built well enough to hold the 30 people expected to attend your son's graduation party?
A home inspection usually costs about $300 in the Crofton area - sometimes less and sometimes more - but that could be a small investment in your family's safety.
If a home inspection indicates any compelling safety issues, you should ask the landlord to correct them before you move in. You can (and should) still make a record of cosmetic discrepancies, which you can identify on your own, but there's more to property condition than cosmetics.
Maybe a home inspection SHOULD be customary for rentals... Perhaps a landlord should get one before listing his property for rent. That wouldn't be a bad risk-management strategy for landlords.
There's no simple answer to the question about whether a renter should get a home inspection. Or... perhaps there is.
Many thanks to the renter who asked this question and inspired me to consider this issue. I am going to start offering a home inspection to my rental clients and landlords.
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REALTOR® and Associate Broker
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Office: (410) 721-1500 x 6245
Direct: (301) 346-2923
Email Margaret Woda
'Still passionate about helping home buyers and sellers in Bowie, Crofton, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Fort Meade and Odenton, Maryland, after 30 years as a REALTOR®.
Disclaimer: Information contained in this post is deemed reliable on the date of publication, but it is not guaranteed and it is subject to change without notice.
The Foerster Team
Rocky Mountain Real Estate Advisors