Why You Should Always Get a Home Inspection | Core Reasons Explained
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Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or have been through the process before, it’s important to remember that getting a home inspection is always a good idea. While it can be tempting to waive the inspection to make your offer more attractive to the seller or assume you’ll be able to spot any potential problems on your own and save money. A home inspection should be considered a necessity before buying a home. Not convinced? Here are a few reasons you should always get a home inspection.
Why You Should Always Get a Home Inspection
Unpermitted Work Can Be Tricky to Spot
Even if you’re familiar with the area and the building codes, it can be difficult to tell if work has been done without the proper permits. On the other hand, a home inspector will know exactly what to look for and can tell you if any additions are likely to have been done illegally.
Not only is this important to know from a legal standpoint, but it can also give you some insight into the quality of the work that was done.
Remediating unpermitted work can be a complicated process, and knowing whether you’d have to undertake a costly removal or remediation job or get the work legalized if it passes inspection is important information. It’s also paramount that you don’t get saddled with a home that has had illegal work done without knowing it—once you own the home, it becomes your problem, and you’ll be on the hook when it comes time to sell the home again.
The Last Thing You Want is Surprise Repairs
One of the most important reasons to get a home inspection is that it can help you avoid buying a money pit. While most homes on the market are in decent condition, there’s always a chance that you’ll come across a property that seems like a great deal but hides a host of expensive problems, like damaged studs hidden in the walls. A home inspector can spot these potential issues and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to move forward with the purchase.
A home inspection generally costs between $300–$500. The average cost for fixing a flooded basement from an uncaught plumbing issue can range into the thousands easily. Didn’t realize the roof might leak in the rain? Even a minor roof leak can cost over $1,000 in repairs. Spending a little money upfront can save you a lot of money down the line.
Home Inspection Results Can Be Used to Negotiate the Home Price
If the home inspection does uncover some problems, it can also be used as leverage to negotiate a better purchase price. The seller may be willing to lower the price of the home or make repairs themselves to seal the deal. Either way, you’ll have a much better idea of what you’re getting you into and can rest assured knowing that you won’t be unexpectedly facing a huge repair bill down the road.
The Inspection Report Can Clue You In on Future Maintenance
Even if you can see that the roof is in good condition, do you know how old it is? What about the furnace or water heater—have they been recently serviced or replaced? These are all things that a home inspector can tell you, and their report can give you a good idea of what kind of maintenance, repairs, and replacements you can expect shortly. This information can help you budget for upcoming expenses and plan accordingly.
An Appraisal is required to Get a Mortgage; Do I Still Need an Inspection?
While a home inspection isn’t usually required to get a mortgage, most lenders will require an appraisal of the property. This is typically done for their peace of mind to ensure that the home is worth the amount they lend you. However, an appraisal is not the same as a home inspection and only assesses the property’s value, not its condition. Therefore, getting a home inspection is still a good idea even if your lender doesn’t require it.
Many lenders will also require a wood-destroying organisms report (known as a termite inspection) to approve the loan. This is because damage from termites and other pests like wood-eating fungi can be quite expensive to repair. While this is technically a home inspection, it’s highly specialized; it’s not a substitute for a general home inspection.
I’m buying a New Construction Home. Do I Still Need an Inspection?
If you’re buying a brand new home, you may think an inspection isn’t necessary since the home will be in pristine condition. However, even new homes can have problems, so it’s always best to avoid caution and get an inspection. Not all builders build to the same quality, and it’s never safe to assume that there wasn’t a single mistake made. The inspector will be able to spot any potential issues with the home, such as problems with the foundation, wiring, or plumbing.
Even Home Sellers Can Benefit From Home Inspections
If you’re selling your home, you may think getting a home inspection is unnecessary since you already know the property’s condition. However, a home inspection can also be beneficial if you’re a seller.
For one thing, it can give you a good idea of what potential issues need to be addressed before putting your home on the market. Additionally, if there are any problems with the property, you’ll be able to address them upfront so potential buyers won’t have any concerns.
Getting a Home Inspection is the Smartest Move
A home inspection is always a good idea, even if your lender does not require it. A home inspection can help you avoid buying a money pit, negotiate a better price, and plan for the future. So, be sure to factor the cost of an inspection into your budget when buying a home. It could end up being the best decision you ever make.