What To Expect When You Are Inspecting

Your New Upstate Home

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so you bought a new home in the upstate.

You put in the offer, agreed to terms, and are under contract. The house is practically yours, right? You are 100% excited.

Don't be...yet.

I tell my clients "get through inspections, repair requests, and negotiations for repairs then you can be 99% excited. (You still have to close).


Read on to discover...

Part 1:

Most common misconceptions about inspections


Jamie spencer, professional engineer, inspector, and managing director of red clay homes.

Jamie is a professional Engineer, LEED / OSHA certified, Clemson University graduate who has worked on projects with well-known clients:

  • Boeing
  • Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
  • Carolina Ale House
  • Clemson University
  • CVS
  • General Electric
  • Gulfstream Aerospace
  • Michelin
  • North Carolina State University
  • Sealed Air
  • YMCA
  • Yokohama Tire

He makes a living making sure you you have a thoroughly inspected home. Here is his website.

According to Jamie, the top misconceptions of inspectors are:

All inspectors are the same!

Nope. Jamie says,  "If they can't answer questions about their qualifications or would prefer that you not be present during the inspection, that should raise a red flag. Instead, find an inspector who is willing to invite you to the last hour of inspections."

I just need a regular inspection!

Nope, again. Jamie says: "The inspection is limited to the readily visible and accessible components of the home.  The only way to get 100% inspection, in my opinion, is to perform a regular home inspection and also supplemental destructive testing."

What is destructive testing? It's high-tech, and it allows you to see the strength of the foundation and test moisture content inside the walls, among other things. This could really help you spot potential problems. 

Full disclosure/disclaimer: I recieve no compensation, favors, or incentives for this article or my relationship with Jamie. There are many great inspectors in the Upstate, he just happens to be articulate enough to write with me. If he decides to purchase a pink Tesla for me, I'll let you know. 

Part 2:

The inspection process

the trial period

Most contracts give you 10-14 days to try out the home. During this time, you get to decide with the sellers what gets fixed and what stays the same on your new home.

What does this process look like? Let's start at the top.

A good inspector (such as Dynamic Inspections or Red Clay Homes) will run you around $350-$550 and it is absolutely worth it. You can pay them at closing. Definitely ask about a Radon test- South Carolina is notorious for Radon coming out of our lovely rocks and turning us into mutants without the superpowers.

Do not become a mutant. Get an inspection.

Once the inspection is scheduled by our transaction department, the inspector goes to visit the home. Tag along to learn what the inspector found. Neat!

the inspection report

Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will create a 50-90 page report detailing everything. The last few pages will have a summary of things that could be fixed, some are contractual (seller must fix) and some are non-contractual (seller not required to fix).

For example, if you discover swamp rabbits have chewed through your Freon line, wrecked your A/C system, and now you have a hot house with weird animals, then you can ask the sellers repair the Freon line before you move in. Cool! (Maybe keep the swamp rabbits as pets?) Chewed Freon lines are a contractual item. Swamp rabbits are not.

The repair request form

The repair request form is where you ask sellers to fix things for you. If they say yes on the form, they have to fix it. If they say no, and it's a non-contractual item, then you may have to negotiate. Leave that to me.

Here is an example of a ridiculous repair request full of non-contractual items for humorous illustration:

This buyer deserves to get a kick in the sternum.


What about inspecting new construction homes?

It's the same, however, we usually recommend a pre-drywall inspection too (so now there are 2 total inspections)! You can catch a lot of problems before they happen this way. Pre-drywall inspections are cheaper. 

BONUS: FHA, VA, and USDA Loan requirements

You don't have to remember this, a good agent will ensure these pass. (Just ask one of my clients - I swept up paint chips hours before appraisal to get the home to pass!) Here are some of the requirements government loans require to pass inspections:

  • No paint flakes are allowed
  • Drain plugs must be in place
  • Windows must open/close
  • No rotting wood
  • No cracked glass
  • Hot water must work
  • GFCI circuits must be installed
  • Proper electrical must be installed

and the big kicker...

  • Cabinet doors have to close! 

That's right, if the cabinet doors don't close the loan won't approve. What a fun regulation! Get the sellers to fix that for sure. 

That's it! Here's a glossary to help you remember those nasty terms:


Contractual – something the seller must remedy (roof, foundation, HVAC, Plumbing, etc) if it is on the inspection report. Other examples are: Moisture levels above 20%, 

Non-Contractual – an item that the seller is not required to fix. Example: Cosmetic damage, something that is weird but does not prevent something from working.

Earnest Money – a deposit held in escrow until closing, counts towards your purchase and closing costs. You don't always get it back if you walk away from the deal!

Repair Request – a straightforward document

That's it! What do you think? Questions? Contact me below!

David is a REALTOR®, New Homes Buyer Specialist, author of the only new homes website in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Are you buying a new Upstate SC home in the next 3-6 months?

Call or text: 864.416.4505    |    david@theharogroup.com