When you put in an offer for a home, you have the option to include contingencies. One of the most common contingencies is that the home passes an inspection and that an inspector doesn’t find any major issues. Unfortunately, some buyers, often in an effort to speed up the process, forgo an inspection. This isn’t a mistake you want to make.
7 Reasons a Home Inspection is a Must
Home inspections aren’t mandatory. Some lenders will require you to get an inspection in order to qualify for the loan they’re offering, but most buyers have the option to move on without getting an inspection. This is dangerous for many reasons, though. Unless you’re okay with throwing your life savings at something you don’t know much about, you’ll want to order a home inspection and meticulously study the results.
Here are a few of the top reasons why:
- Highlights Problems
The purpose of a home inspection is to identify problems and show them to prospective buyers before they actually go through with the deal and take ownership of the property. And while most homes don’t have any major problems that haven’t been identified, it’s quite common for an inspector to uncover some issues that nobody knew about. Here are some of the most common problems that you’ll see in a home inspector’s report:
- Faulty wiring. One of the most common issues you’ll see – especially in older homes – is faulty wiring. This may include exposed wiring, open junction boxes, or even amperage mismatches.
- Plumbing leaks. The leaks you don’t see are the most alarming. An inspector knows where to look and how to identify the signs of a slow leak.
- Poor grading and drainage. A home inspection doesn’t just consider the inside of the home. It also takes the larger property into account. One common issue inspectors find is poor grading and drainage. This can be a sign of any number of things, but often leads to leaking in the basement or crawlspace.
- HVAC issues. It’s fairly easy for anyone to take a cursory look at an AC unit and note how hold it is, but an inspector is trained to give the entire HVAC system a detailed look and let you know which issues exist and how much longer the systems likely have.
- Building code problems. Nobody likes navigating complicated building codes, but they exist for a reason. If you unknowingly buy a house that has lots of building code violations, you may have trouble selling it to a smart buyer in the future. If nothing else, it’s a cause for concern.
No home is perfect, but you want to know what you’re up against. An inspection helps you understand what’s really happening inside the home.
- Offers Maintenance Tips
Sometimes a home inspector will reveal things that aren’t really alarming, but are definitely good to know if you’re going to own the home. For example, he might tell you in the report that there’s inadequate insulation in the attic, which is driving up utility costs. Or there may be poor drainage in part of the backyard, which a simple fix could solve.
Ordering a home inspection is like having a maintenance professional tell you about all of the little things you didn’t know about the house. You don’t have to follow his suggestions, but it’s nice to get a feel for what’s going on under your future roof.
- Improves Safety
Living in a home with issues can be a major safety problem. For example, faulty wiring could be a fire hazard. If you aren’t alerted to the issues with the wiring, you probably won’t know until it’s too late. The same could be said of problems with gas appliances, a fireplace, or the presence of harmful substances like radon. An inspection will keep you safe from issues you otherwise wouldn’t see.
- Provides an Accurate Estimate of Future Costs
Cutting a down payment check for a house is just the first step. There are hundreds of other expenses that will pop up over the next few years. While some of them are unpredictable, it’s nice to at least have a ballpark estimate for what you know you’ll need to address over the first few years.
For example, if you know that your house has an AC unit that’s 15 years old, then you can reasonably expect to buy a new one within five years. Since that could cost as much as $10,000 to $15,000 in a sizeable home, you need to have it on your radar.
- Gives You Leverage in Negotiation
Remember, your original offer is usually contingent on the home inspection. If you find something that you don’t like, you can rescind your offer and go back to the drawing board. In many situations, a home inspection provides you with more leverage in negotiations. If you find out that the roof is in worse shape than you realized, you might be able to lower your offer considerably to account for this future expense.
- Doesn’t Cost Very Much
A home inspection doesn’t cost very much in the grand scheme of things. Depending on the size of the house and where you’re located, it’ll probably run somewhere between $300 and $600. Considering that reports are often 20, 30, or 40-plus pages long, this is a pretty good deal.
- Provides Peace of Mind
When it’s all said and done, a home inspection gives you peace of mind. It lets you know that you’re buying a house that’s structurally sound – not something that a seller put lipstick on just to pass the open house. That makes it worth every penny.
Contact Green Residential Today
At Green Residential, we know the Houston real estate scene like the back of our hands. We also have some of the best connections and relationships in the industry. Whether you’re buying, selling, or managing investment properties, we can help you accomplish personal and professional objectives with transparency and reliability. Contact us today to learn more about our services!