Buying a home is a major financial investment that will affect your budget for many years. Hence, a home inspection is crucial because you cannot afford to make any mistakes with your hard-earned money. After all, a house is not like other goods that you can return or exchange if you spot something wrong with the merchandise.
Thus, you need to know what kind of house you are getting to avoid potential problems down the line. After paying the down payment and all the other closing costs and incidentals, you may not have enough money to fund repairs like termite damage or corroded plumbing lines.
Clearly, a home inspection is crucial before you sign that final contract. To learn more about home inspections, you have come to the right spot. Keep on reading so you can make an informed choice.
The Difference Between Appraisals and Inspections
Many people find it easy to get swept away with the excitement of making their dream home a reality. However, before you buy a new home, they must conduct a home inspection once you have made an offer, and the contract is underway. This process is instrumental in your home buying journey because it will save you time and money in the long run.
Most of all, it will save you from aggravation and frustration. Remember, a home appraisal and a home inspection are not the same processes. Though appraisals describe the property, they do not give a detailed look. Appraisals give monetary valuation but never uncover deep-rooted issues and potential problems.
Thus, you need a home inspection to uncover home issues that you cannot see with your untrained eyes. This service will also alert you to the possible pitfalls you may face, such as potential termite infestation in summer because of your property’s location. With the right information, you can assess if the house is a worthwhile investment.
The Reasons You Need a Home Inspection
A reputable realtor will always recommend a home inspection for buyers to ensure the home is in good condition. They even give referrals to reliable partners to perform a thorough inspection. This process will help you avoid unpleasant surprises.
Keep in mind; a home may look perfect on the outside, but what lies beneath the surface is another story. A certified home inspector will have the qualifications, accreditation, skills, and experience to help you make a sound decision. Look at the primary ways a home inspection will help in your home buying journey.
1. Raises Red Flags
As a buyer, you may think you are buying the perfect home. Unfortunately, you may not be aware that trouble is lurking under the foundation or the drywall. Experienced inspectors have a trained eye to spot even the most subtle signs of infestation, decay, or damage. They may even identify what is happening behind a wall without prying it open.
Remember, with the right information; you can make an accurate choice. A home inspector can help you:
- Asses major defects
- Pinpoint safety hazards
- Identify potential threats
- Pinpoint building code violations
- Offer suggestions on how you can deal with the issue
Never judge a home by its facade alone, or you will be disappointed. Even new constructions may have structural, plumbing, or electrical wiring issues that are not visible in the open house. Make it a habit to inspect a home no matter the age to prevent costly trouble down the line.
2. Offers Great Monetary Value
Though you pay for an inspection fee, this pays for itself in terms of future savings. No one can ever discount the value of this necessary expense. Those who skip this service realize later that the inspection is much cheaper than re-plumbing an entire house.
If you found out the issues beforehand, you can deduct the cost of repairs from the seller. An inspector can spot poor structure, water leaks, non-energy efficient appliances and more. Thus, you can assess if you want that property.
3. Gives Justification to Ask the Original Homeowner to Fix Issues
When sellers find out you are getting a home inspection, they put in a lot of effort to pass it. After all, they want to let go of the property as fast as possible. Hence, most will do repairs to ensure everything is in excellent condition.
Once you get the inspection report, you can also ask the seller or developer to repair any hidden damages. After all, they must ensure the home is habitable and safe for you and your family. If they are unwilling, you can ask them to deduct the estimated repair costs from the contract price.
4. Gives the Upper Hand During Negotiations
When it comes to bargaining and asking for a lower price, facts serve as solid evidence. When you know the exact conditions of the home based on the inspection report, this gives you power. You can use this as leverage to ask for a lower price.
You gain the upper hand during negotiations when you have the home inspection report. If you want the property, you can insert clauses in the purchase contract that calls for repairs. An empowered home buyer always comes out as the winner.
5. Helps with Making Plans
Most people think those home inspections are only for your current home buying journey. Well, that is a myth. This process is the perfect tool for planning ahead.
For example, the home you are considering is an old one; the report will help you map out possible future upgrades. You can get assessments on how much life is in the roofing system, appliances, plumbing, furnace, etc. Once you know these details, you can make the necessary computations if these future expenses are costs that your budget can accommodate or not.
6. Provides Peace of Mind
With a home inspection report, you will feel more confident about the home you are buying. It takes out any guesswork and grants complete peace of mind. With this scenario, you can be a happy buyer with no ounce of buyer’s remorse at all.
Remember, a realtor who advises you to get a home inspection has your best interest at heart. Professionals real estate agents understand you are making a big decision, so you must have the home evaluated first. This way, you will not suffer from feelings of regret in the future.
The Things that Home Inspections Cover
Since you are paying for a home inspection, it is vital to understand what a home inspection covers. This process is a visual evaluation of the house from the basement to the roof. It is a critical step in your home purchase.
It will alert you about potential issues before you finalize the contract. Noteworthy, your mortgage company may not require it. However, we highly recommend that you have this done to ascertain you invest your money in the right property.
What is covered when you pay for a home inspection?
When you book for this service, a licensed inspector will come to the home at the specified appointment. This professional will check every nook and cranny of the house. They will make a detailed evaluation of the roof, plumbing, driveway, foundation, electrical wiring, HVAC, and framing.
This service includes looking at details. You can count on your certified inspector to check the following:
- State of roof shingles
- Standards of the wiring system
- Circuit breaker performance
- Pipe leaks
- Gas piping
- Alignment of windows
- The integrity of electrical outlets
- Condition of septic tank
- How much insulation is there
- Basement foundation
- Garage foundation
- Functionality of appliances
- Ventilation system
- Operational fire alarms
- Check carbon monoxide alarms
- Assess the general condition of doors, floors, walls, windows, and ceilings
Remember, requirements like up-to-code wiring vary depending on where you live. However, despite these nuances, the ASHI or American Society of Home Inspectors has standards they comply with for their profession.
Keep in mind; home inspections are not limited to current home purchases. You can use them to plan ahead. The data on the inspection report can help you forecast possible future expenses. You can predict when to replace the roof or boiler based on the indicated lifespan on the report.
This process is thorough, so it can last for three hours. As the buyer, you do not need to be present, but following the inspector means you can ask questions, observe, and learn about the building, and get maintenance advice. All these details will help you with home upkeep after you move in.
What are the things not included or covered in a home inspection?
The keywords here are visual cues. Home inspections only cover the visual aspects. Since you are not paying for an in-depth examination, you must know that these inspections do not check the following:
- Inside of the walls
- Within the chimney
- Underneath electrical panels
- Septic tank systems
- Inside sewer lines or pipes
- Floor warps and other creaks
- Toxic mold
- Swimming pools
- Pest control
Noteworthy, they will report on termite damage or a possible rodent infestation, but they will not exterminate this problem for you. The same applies to other issues like faulty circuit breakers and rusted pipes.
How much will a home inspection cost?
The cost of home inspections varies based on where you live. A standard 2,000-square foot home in the suburbs will set you back around $400. However, that price will increase if you have a larger house in the city. If you need deeper and more intensive inspections, like testing for mold growth, lead, or asbestos, you need to pay for more, as these entail more complex processes.
When you think about home inspection, take note of the age and location of the property. Of course, it would be prudent to ask around for quotes from reputable providers. It is vital to note that the cheapest rate is not always the best choice.
Working with a reputable inspector provides the best value. You will also attain more peace of mind when you trust this person. For best results, ask your real estate agent for a referral because they usually have industry partners they can vouch for.
Who will benefit from seeking a home inspection service?
Most people think those home inspections are only for buyers. But this service is also advantageous for sellers. Regardless of which side you are on during negotiations, here are some things you need to know:
- For sellers:
Home inspections are vital to home sellers, too. If you invest in this service before you list the property, you can determine its exact condition. As a result, you can get the following:
- Find out the issues or defects
- Make the necessary repairs before the home sale
- Confidently complete your selling disclosure
- Set a more accurate home price
- Prevent that dreaded seller concession request
- Boost buyer confidence
- Increase your home’s property value
- For Buyers:
Home inspection reports are important for buyers because you can reopen negotiations and strike a cheaper bargain in your favor. We outlined the major benefits above. But do remember that it is an excellent idea to join the inspector in the process to:
- Follow along and take notes
- See for yourself what needs attention
- Understand the root of the problems
- Realize the severity of the situations
- Ask if your possible home improvement ideas will work
- Get a report to ask for seller concessions and repairs
- Don’t buy a home with major problems
Find the Best Real Estate Agent for Advice
You will find many inspection companies, but not all are made equal. It would be best to seek a recommendation from your realtor like our team at RI Home Store. Get a shortlist and interview the prospective candidates to see the right fit for you.
Buying a home should be a pleasant, memorable experience. With a home inspection referral from us, you can lessen your potential nightmares. An inspection will cost money, but it is one that is well-spent. You should know of any suspicious problems before signing your final contract.
Notably, the more issues you know today, the less nasty surprises there will be in the future that could potentially disrupt your peaceful home life. Give us a call and we will be happy to assist you make your dream home come alive.