Posts in Category: Residential Inspections

Should I Get a Home Inspection Before Purchasing?

A home is one of the most important purchases a person will make in a lifetime, so it’s important to get it right. Often, homeowners will spend their entire lives living in one home. Sometimes, a home is handed down from generation to generation. So although an inspection may not be required to purchase a property, it is certainly strongly recommended. Here are some important reasons why an inspection should not be overlooked when buying a home.

Avoid the ‘He Said, She Said’ Issue

If you include a clause in your purchase agreement that exempts you from the agreement based on the results of an inspection, you can save yourself the headache of trying to back out of a purchase agreement because you found some major issues near or after you’ve moved in. Without an inspection, it is assumed that you are buying the home as-is. The seller may claim that they were unaware of the issue you uncovered. You have no recourse. The home is yours now, and any repairs are now your responsibility.

Inspectors Are Professionals

A good home inspector has extensive knowledge of ALL aspects of construction, including electrical, plumbing, structural, and much more. They will be able to discover far more that what meets the eye. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any major problem with the property will be easily noticeable, or that you can sufficiently inspect the home yourself .

Not only can the inspector find hidden or obscure issues with the home, his report will identify the seriousness of each issue (major, minor or safety implications), but they will also make recommendations on whether the problem item should be replaced, serviced or repaired prior to completing a purchase agreement.

For issues that are minor and shouldn’t affect your decision to purchase, a good inspector will often consult with you about taking care of the repairs yourself, as well as recommended routine maintenance once you’ve moved into your home.

What Happens After the Inspection?

Once the inspection is completed, you’ll have a full report on the status of the home’s current state. You’ll know generally how healthy the home is, and whether or not you should go forward with the purchase (assuming you’ve included the inspection contingency clause in your purchase agreement).

Your inspector will identify issues that he uncovered, and indicators of more serious problems that may need further investigation by another professional before committing to buy. For instance, cracks in the ceiling paint or windows that get stuck open or shut may be an indication of a cracked foundation. However, the inspector can’t confirm his suspicion without actually being able to inspect the foundation.

You may use the inspection report to ask the seller to either fix the issues or discount the price of the home to allow you to make repairs once you’ve purchased the property. This may save you much more money in the long run that the minor cost of the inspection, around $400.

Finally…

The inspection plays an integral role for you as the buyer because it reveals existing or potential problems with the home, gives you some footing for negotiating discounts to the selling price, and if necessary give you an exemption from the agreement if you deem the issues found to be too severe. At a minimum, the inspection should give you peace of mind if nothing severely wrong was found. So even if the inspection is not already required by your lender, you should not forego this critical step in the home purchasing process.