Buying a Home
Why Are Home Inspections Important?
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will ever make.
It is important to know your decision to buy a particular home is a good one, and to be able to proceed with confidence. No home is perfect. You may have found your “dream home,” and it may appear to be everything you want, but it is imperative to know that you are not getting more than you bargained for. An easy, relatively inexpensive way to have added assurance that you are making a good, solid and informed decision is to have your home inspected by a licensed home inspector.
A home inspection is a detailed, visual examination of the condition of a property, and can save you from purchasing a home that requires major repairs that would cost you thousands of dollars. I repeat, no home is perfect, and any home that is inspected will have a lengthy, detailed report informing you of all issues, big and small, that the inspector sees. That is what we do. Not every imperfection will need to be addressed right away, and as the home buyer, you may decide that some do not need any attention. Whatever the situation, you will be better informed.
If the home inspection uncovers major issues or potential major issues, you will know what you are facing before actually purchasing the property. It gives you the opportunity to opt out of the deal before it is too late, should you decide the property is not for you. Buying a home is not a time for unwanted surprises.
Once your offer to buy a home is accepted and goes into contract, the lengthy process of writing begins. There are Realtor and attorney fees, as well as other necessary costs. The total of these expenses may prompt you to save money where you can, and to opt out of a home inspection.
Below are several other reasons in addition to those mentioned above as to why a home inspection is important.
Protect Your Investment
A home inspector is a valuable resource. He or she can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home, and potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long term.
A home inspection can detect safety issues around the perimeter of the home and inside. A couple examples would be the porch and deck. Baluster maximum spacing should be 4 inches, including toe stop of steps. This is to keep children (mostly) from climbing or falling through to the ground. Another area for added safety about a home would be installing GFCI receptacles for all outside receptacles, in the garage, unfinished basement, in the crawlspace. Inside the home, adding GFCI receptacles within 6 feet of any type of water contact would add safety protection as well.
If you are buying an “as-is” foreclosed or short sale property, a home inspection is even more critical. Dwellings that have been boarded up for a time often develop costly mold problems, and are a major health hazard. It is not uncommon for home inspectors to find that copper plumbing lines and outdoor compressors have been removed from foreclosed properties by people trying to sell copper to recyclers for money.
Realtors will tell you that a home inspection report allows you the opportunity to negotiate with the seller for repairs or a price reduction. Work with your Realtor to negotiate the best deal possible.
Awareness of Future Costs
All components of a home have a shelf life. A home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems in the home like plumbing, heating and cooling, and critical equipment like water heaters. Understanding when they require replacement can help you make important budgeting decisions.
Some insurance companies will not insure a home if certain conditions are found, or without the presence of necessary certifications like Wind Mitigation and four-point inspections.
The Bottom Line- When buying a home, a quality home inspection can reveal critical information about the condition of a home, and it gives you the option to back out of a deal should the findings of the inspection bring to light major concerns that will need to addressed immediately or down the road. Being aware of additional costs for repairs and maintenance can save you thousands of dollars, and protect your investment.