Before you purchase a home, you want to ensure it meets all the necessary criteria. You can do some of this in the search and viewing stage. For example, if you need a place with three bedrooms, you filter out those with only two.
Yet not all criteria are so easily determined. You can tell a house has a leaky roof if you see buckets collecting raindrops in the kitchen, but what about if it is not raining? What about if the owner quickly painted over the water-stained plaster hiding all visible traces of leaks?
That is where a survey comes in. The surveyor carries out in-depth checks of the sort that are not visible or not apparent to the untrained eye. These can include things such as:
- Leaking roofs
- Internal fractures in the walls
- Toxic substances in the earth below the house
- Exposure to flooding in particularly wet years
There are several levels of survey on offer, and if you opt for the most basic, you could overlook things that make the property a poor investment. Before you take that survey, you put a contingency clause in the contract saying you can back out if you discover certain issues.
Then there is the paperwork side of things
A title contingency allows you to retract your offer if the house turns out to have ownership issues. You also need contingencies to cover you if you have problems securing funding. For instance, your house sale falls through, or the lender changes the terms of the mortgage offer.
Understanding what contingency clauses you need requires detailed knowledge of common issues and real estate law. Getting that help is the best way to ensure you secure a home you will not regret buying.