Buying a house is a big decision and comes with some closing costs that start to add up. It can be tempting to avoid some of these costs by cutting corners, but a home inspection should not be one of them. When competition between buyers is fierce in a seller’s market, skipping the home inspection condition may seem enticing. Especially if you are a first-time homebuyer, a home inspection is imperative. Paying a few hundred dollars can save you thousands. We are here to give you five reasons why it is, in fact, necessary.
Avoid future hazards
A home inspector’s job is to assess any potential safety concerns, threats, defects, or property violations. When aware of red flags that might exist in the house you’re looking at, you can decide if you would like to move forward with the property or not. If there are signs of poor structural designs or leakage in the basement, you can expect to incur high costs later. By investing in a professional to inspect the property you’re looking at, you can assume you’ll be saving what would have been unforeseen repair costs later on.
Know what you’re getting
Real estate is a complicated product. Home available for purchase can be brand new to over 100 years old. Chances are much of the house’s history is unknown, which means that buyers accept some risk for the problems of the past that come up in the future. Notwithstanding latent material defects, which the home seller must disclose are not discoverable upon reasonable inspection, a property inspection by a qualified professional can give owners clarify about which issues should be addressed in the short, medium and long term. They can also answer specific questions about the type of pipes, electrical service and age of components that need to be replaced or updated periodically, for example, your furnace.
Preventing water entry
Water entry is one of the most troublesome elements of homeownership. And most of the time, one of your home’s primary jobs is to keep water out and away from it! An inspector can look at the roof of a house, identify the approximate age, and make some notes if any part of the roof requires immediate attention. Similarly, they will check the gutters for signs of leaking, grade of landscaping, and evidence of water entry in the basement with a visual and sometimes thermal inspection.
Preparing for future maintenance costs
The great thing about getting an inspection is that you can budget accordingly for future repairs. Most inspection reports will identify costs of postponed maintenance, meaning repairs that are not pressing right now but will need updating in the future. You can get an idea of replacements that will need to happen within the next 5-10 years. This allows you to have a budget in mind, contingent on the home’s condition. Most inspectors are also happy to answer questions that you may have about ongoing maintenance and specific maintenance that your home requires.
Your overall peace of mind
Getting an inspection is most important for your comfort. Buying a house is an investment and one that doesn’t end once you get the keys to your new home. The inspection will prevent any unforeseen surprises that turn into costly fix-ups. The last thing you want is to purchase a house and be caught off-guard by serious maintenance repairs that you were unaware of. Spend a few hundred dollars to get the inspection report done by a professional, and in the process, you will be investing in your peace of mind.
What a Property Inspection is Not
While a Property Inspection is critical, especially for first-time home buyers, it is neither a guarantee that all issues have been discovered nor is it an opportunity to renegotiate the purchase price. First, an inspection is non-invasive. That means that an inspector cannot cut open walls to see what is beneath. The foundation is often visible and easier to examine in an unfinished basement, whereas a finished basement leaves more uncertainty. An inspector will carefully review these limitations with you.
Secondly, an inspection is not the time to whittle down the sellers on a purchase price. In any resale property, there will always be a list of items that arise; this is expected. Some may need to be dealt with in the next few months or even years. It is tempting to want to negotiate once these items are discovered; however, taking care of them is part of homeownership. In some cases, some things come up that need to be handled immediately. For example, homes that have a 60 amp electrical panel are not eligible for homeowners insurance. This is a costly replacement and is required with some immediacy. In those cases, a price reduction is often appropriate.