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​​​​​​Front​ Door Properties

​​David Simon, Realtor
Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate: Waterfront and Water Access Homes and Lots For Sale

Smith Mountain Lake Homes For Sale

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Home Inspection & Requesting Repairs 

​​​​​Purchasing your Smith Mountain lake Property will likely be one of the largest personal investments you will ever make. Getting a detailed home inspection prior to closing by a certified professional inspector is an inexpensive way to discover the universal condition of a lake home.  Your inspection will enable you to avoid purchasing a property in need of significant repairs and save you from unexpected hidden repair costs. We do not recommend using an inspector suggested by the seller or seller's agent.  A home inspection typically costs between $350 and $600 depending on the size of the home and the inspection service options. Your inspection can potentially reveal thousands of dollars in repairs that should be considered prior to closing and can go as far as revealing a property that should be avoided all together.

Front Door recommends selecting a general inspector that:

  • ​Is ASHI (American Society of home Inspectors) certified
  • Is NOT the one suggested by the seller or seller's agent.  The inspector should be focused on your interests.
  • Is licensed in the state of Virginia
  • ​​Carries errors and omissions (E&O) insurance
  • Provides a detailed report including photographs and clearly delineates between defects that should be corrected vs. cosmetic items. We suggest asking for a sample report prior to hiring your inspector.

​What should be inspected?

​Your home inspection should cover hundreds of components in the home and include a written report clearly outlining safety concerns and the current condition of the home.

The following major systems should be covered:

  • ​Structural defects caused by poor construction techniques, soil/foundation movement, water or drainage conditions, settlement, fire, etc.
  • Potential environmental hazards such as lead-based paint, asbestos, radon gas or any other toxic material.
  • EMP inspection (Electrical, Mechanical & Plumbing) includes electrical and plumbing systems, built-in appliances, heating and cooling systems, swimming pool/spas, sprinkler systems and security systems.
  • Termite inspection shows any visible infestation or visible damage caused by a wood destroying organism (termites, water damage, wood rot).
  • Roof Inspection including framing members, decking and shingle condition.

special Considerations When inspecting a property at Smith Mountain Lake

​In general, a home inspection at SML should cover the same items as a general home inspection anywhere else. However, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind.

  • If the property has a dock, we recommend asking the inspector to include the dock in the inspection to make sure the structure is structurally sound and that any existing power lifts are in safe operating condition. For example, worn lift cables can be a serious safety hazard.
  • Waterfront properties tend to more susceptible to termites due to moisture. Your general home inspector should look for signs of termites and in addition to that, a separate pest control company should be hired to inspect the property for signs of termites or other pest infestations.
  • In almost all cases, lake homes have at least some natural slope from the road to the lake. This means that some amount of water naturally flows toward the home. The inspector should carefully look for proper drainage and ensure that there is no moisture in the basement or crawl space.
  • Many lake homes are served by wells, septic systems or both. Inspections should be included for these systems. Water should be tested by a certified lab. Septic systems should be inspected for proper operation, and for homes located in Franklin county, it is the seller's obligation to prove that the septic system has been pumped out within the past 5 years.

Requesting Repairs

​While nothing stops you from requesting that the seller take care of everything contained in the inspector's report, in most purchase contracts, the seller is only obligated to address structural defects and repairs to major systems and built-in appliances. There can be gray areas in terms of what is and is not a required repair vs a cosmetic one. Your real estate agent should be skilled in helping you navigate gray areas toward negotiating a fair resolution with the seller. Note that your purchase contract likely will contain a dollar amount below which the seller must address repairs and above which he has the option, but not obligation, to do so. Typically if the requested repair total exceeds the dollar limit designated in the contract, and the seller opts to not make repairs above the limit, the buyer has then has an option of cancelling the purchase contract or proceeding to closing while accepting a credit for the repair limit amount. When negotiating your purchase contract, be aware that the repair limit is a negotiable item. Typically the contract will set the repair limit at $1,000 if not otherwise negotiated. Front Door recommends buyers negotiate this to a higher value, if possible. Make sure that all repairs are completed by licensed professional contractors.