Many of my buyers ask me how to make sense of the many documents that are included most property disclosures. While I advise my clients to read every document in the packet, there are some items that are much more important than other in evaluating the condition of a particular property. Check out my tips below on which reports I review to get an overview in just a few minutes.
the pest inspection report is broken down into section 1 and section 2. Section 1 contains issues currently affecting the structure. It can be dry rot behind stucco, window damage, or porch, deck, & railing issues. Section 2 are items that have been identified as potential problems. If you navigate to the last page of the report, you will see a bid associated with both section 1 and section 2.
Home inspection report
A home inspection includes a review of major home systems from the plumbing, electrical, foundation, & roof. Most reports have a “primary recommendations” section that identifies anything that needs repair or replacement. Home inspection reports will not have an associated bid so ask your agent to provide rough figures or contact a contractor.
The preliminary title report
The title report is tricky to review and I always advise my buyers to call the title company to review it thoroughly with the title officer. Things to check: Ensure the person selling is the same person named in the title report. Confirm there are no liens on the property, and if there are, that the amount of your offer will be sufficient to pay off the balance. Read the legal description of the property. HEADS UP: if it reads “A portion of lot #” This indicates the lot was subdivided at some point. You also want to read all of the exceptions and click on every hyperlink.
The housing stock in the inner East Bay ranges from 80-120 years old. There are going to be condition issues in most homes. It’s a matter of understanding which projects outlined property disclosures you have the budget and bandwidth to take on. Once you have completed your quick review and consulted with your agent, it’s time to read every single page of those disclosures. As always, be sure to consult with your agent on any questions you have. They should be able to provide information and also resources so you have the information needed in order to confidently make an offer. Contact me if you have questions about a specific disclosure package and I can help you evaluate the purchase risk.