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If the purchase contract states that the seller is paying for the hazard report and a buyer's home warranty, who is responsible actually ordering them?

Probably, you'll both have to agree. But home warranties don't vary that much in price, so the seller shouldn't mind if you order it. The seller will probably want to order the hazard report, assuming that you mean checking for radon gas and things like that.

New Construction: If a walk-through inspection reveals a problem, but I choose to go through with closing anyway, can I retain a percentage of the down payment (or mortgage amount) - - not to be paid until the repairs are made?

If you want to go through with closing, you will not be able to hold any of your money back or the lender will not fund the loan. You just have to trust that the builder will make the changes, and they normally do.

What are the terms of the pest inspection? If after a few years you are living in the home, are the sellers responsible if termites are found?

Assuming you had a pest inspection performed when you bought the house, the terms of the guarantee would be with the pest inspection. You will probably find it with your other documents from when you bought the house.

Expecting the seller to be responsible for something a couple of years after the fact is not really sensible. The only way a seller should be liable is if they knew of an infestation, but did not disclose it.

What should I be aware of that the house inspector should be doing during the inspection of the house I am interested in buying?

The Inspector should be checking the following things:

  • Drainage
  • Foundation
  • Roof & Water Leaks
  • Paint
  • Plumbing
  • Wiring
  • Heating
  • Fireplace
  • Tile

I am interested in buying a home which the seller is listed "as is." Will a bank require a home inspection before approving a loan? Will a bank approve a loan on a home needing repairs?

A bank doesn't require you to get a home inspection in order to obtain a mortgage. If there are obvious major problems that affect value, the appraiser may note it in the appraisal report. However, their job is not to inspect the home, just to determine value.

Although the bank doesn't require a home inspection, if your purchase contract mentions a termite report, the lender will require that to be performed and pass before you close.

A termite report lists more than pest infestations. It also mentions obvious structural defects, such as wood rot, etc. These are classified into two groups - category 1 and 2. All items in category 1 must be repaired prior to closing. However, the lender does not stipulate who must pay for those repairs.

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