What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a significant step in the home-buying process. It's a visual inspection of the property that can take up to two hours, depending on the size of the property. The professional inspector thoroughly looks for potential safety issues or damages, checking the roof, the foundation, the plumbing, and more.
Why do you need a home inspection?
1. You’ll learn about the property and its history
A professional home inspection is a justifiable investment that every buyer should make. Firstly, a home inspection will teach you everything you need to know about the house you're about to live in. You are peeling back the layers of the house and gaining insight into the property's history.
2. You’ll be made aware of any costly future repairs
Secondly, a home inspection is your chance to see the house without the distraction of other buyers. You might find that past the lovely decor, you have non-negotiables. If any significant repairs are necessary, this is the time you want to find out. If the cost of damages or repairs is too high, it could affect your appraisal or insurance. Getting these repairs taken care of before purchasing the property can seriously impact your home-buying experience.
3. You’ll learn some tips for maintaining the property on your own
Thirdly, a home inspection is an excellent source of education. Home inspectors encourage potential buyers to attend the inspection and ask questions about their future homes. You'll learn to spot common problems early on and determine how to best maintain certain features of your home.
Home inspectors look for safety concerns
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4. The inspector is more thorough than untrained eyes
The fourth reason you need a home inspection is that home inspectors are trained professionals that make observations that your agent can’t see. They are well-versed in how to look through the house with a fine-toothed comb.
5. Home inspections are a small investment
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How to find a home inspector
When buying a home, you must find a home inspection company that doesn’t only focus on cosmetic issues but is also invested in any underlying problems with the property. This is especially important if you're unfamiliar with the area or if the construction was recently completed. You don’t want to forfeit a home inspection and later find out you can’t move in because the contractor did poorly with the wiring and plumbing.
What you should do after the inspection
Depending on the company you’re working with, the inspector will send you a detailed inspection report a couple of days after the inspection. If you're not content with the information from the report, don't worry—you have some options.
Immediately talk to your real estate agent; they can negotiate with the seller and ask that the seller complete the required repairs before the closing date. You may also be able to ask for a credit so that you can complete the repairs in the future. Another option is that you can always walk away from the deal. This is the purpose of an inspection contingency, giving you a way out of the purchase if the repairs are too costly or time-consuming.
Help with buying a home
You can’t afford to skip out on the home inspection. Without a home inspection, you could end up buying a house that has serious structural issues or needs expensive repairs. A home inspection can help you escape costly repairs down the road and ensure that you're making a wise investment in your future.
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash