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What are my legal rights if the home I am looking to purchase is found to have a major defect?

Buying a home is a significant investment that you will want to enter into with full disclosure. As such, your home inspection will be one of the most critical components to the purchase of your new home. You will want to select a certified home inspector with experience and skill who will identify any areas of concern in the home. Your purchase contract should additionally protect you in the event a major problem is found. Our Staten Island, New York real estate attorneys explore the home inspection process below.

When will the home inspection occur?

Typically, the home inspection will take place once your offer on the home has been accepted and you have placed funds in escrow. The inspection must occur prior to the final closing date. Most lenders will require that you have a home inspection completed before the purchase. Cash buyers may elect to forego the inspection at their own risk. Going without an inspection could leave you owning a home with major defects that you did not anticipate.

You will want to make sure your purchase agreement contains an inspection clause. This clause specifies your agreement that the purchase of the home is contingent upon the outcome of the home inspection. Often a time period will be set out in the contact as will your legal rights should a significant issue be found.

What does the home inspection include?

During the inspection process, your home inspector will carefully examine all major components to the home, including: the roof, central air conditioning and heating system, foundation, windows and doors, floors, walls, electrical systems, and plumbing. You will receive a complete and comprehensive home inspection report with pictures. You may wish to be accompany the home inspector so that he or she can show you the findings in person.

What if a major problem is found with the home?

Should your home inspector reveal a significant issue with the home, you will then have the legal option to exit the contract and receive your funds in escrow back, or you could continue with the purchase of the home. You may be able to negotiate with the seller for a reduction of the purchase price in order to cover the needed repairs. Your real estate attorney will help you determine the best course of action should an unexpected issue surface during the home inspection period. Contact us today for more information about purchasing real estate.