12 Reasons to Get a Home Inspection Before You Buy a House
When things begin to get serious during your search for a new home, it’s time to call in a professional to handle one of the most important steps in the home buying process: a home inspection. While some cocksure buyers seem to think they can eyeball a potential purchase for problems themselves, experienced homebuyers know there’s a whole host of reasons to hire a professional for a top-to-bottom inspection.
- Uncover safety issues. So many issues hidden within a home can put the health and safety of you and your family at risk: radon, carbon monoxide, mold, faulty wiring. Even a leaky faucet could set off a major mold problem if left unrepaired.
- Document illegal additions or installations. Renovations, additions, and installations that don’t meet local building codes can affect your insurance, taxes, and home value.
- Reveal pest and insect infestations. Nests and unwelcome visitors in the attic, termites in the walls … If your potential home is already inhabited by guests from the wild kingdom, you’ll want to know.
- Pinpoint structural issues. Foundation issues are a common problem in some areas of the country, and they can be quite costly to repair. Structural problems can even affect your insurance coverage.
- Find construction problems in new homes. New construction isn’t immune to problems either: defective materials and appliances, poor workmanship, incomplete or incorrect work. An inspection ensures you get what you paid for.
- Meet insurance requirements. Your home insurance company may require you to obtain specialized certifications such as wind mitigation certificates or meet specific requirements for protection against foundation issues or water damage and flooding.
- Get a better feel for what flaws you’re willing to work with and what flaws represent deal-breakers. It’s all too easy to become wrapped up in that hideous paint job in the kitchen — that is, until you’re presented with a list of electrical system deficiencies and signs of mold in the basement. An inspection helps you focus on the big picture and figure out which issues you’re willing to accept and which mean no deal.
- Forecast future expenses. An experienced home inspector can give you a general idea of how long the current appliances and systems might make it before needing repair or replacing.
- Gain maintenance and improvement advice. Your home inspector can give you invaluable maintenance advice about this house and others of its kind in the area, as well as tips for upgrading and making the most of the home’s existing features.
- Document deficiencies to cover your liability. When you’re ready to resell this home some day, any issues dating back to its original construction or previous inspection will become your liability. Protect yourself by documenting the home’s condition at purchase.
- Fuel tougher negotiations. A complete home inspection is one of the best negotiating tools you could ask for. Use deficiencies and shortcomings as bargaining chips for price reductions or concessions on closing costs or move-in dates.
- Retain one last chance to retract your offer. A home inspection documenting deficiencies gives you one last opportunity to reconsider whether this home is right for you —one final chance to back out of your offer.
Looking for your next home? Don’t let an overenthusiastic seller pull the wool over your eyes by talking up home improvement projects that don’t pay off. Keep your eye on the ball — and once you’ve found the perfect house, call PenFed to find flexible mortgage plans at competitive rates.