You have searched for weeks, maybe even months, and have finally found the perfect home. It meets all of your expectations, and is just the right size for you and your family. You and the seller have agreed upon a price, you have taken care of financing, and everything is set! In just a short time, you will be moving into your new home and settling in. Not so fast… you haven’t taken care of one of the most important parts of home buying; the home inspection. But why in the world would you want one of those? A home inspection is going to cost you more money, and it may not make much sense to spend more money when you are already spending so much on a property. But a home inspection really is an essential part of home buying. There are two major reasons for this… Safety, and Money.
Safety: You want to feel secure in knowing that your home is safe for yourself and your family. A home inspector is going to thoroughly check throughout the home to be sure this is true, and if it isn’t, he will let you know. Often times, people have no idea there are hazardous materials in their home, or that their home may have some safety concerns. A good home inspector will conduct a thorough examination, looking for concerns that most people wouldn’t recognize or even think to look for. Electrical, environmental, and fire hazards are just a few safety issues that a home inspector will include as part of their inspection.
Money: While you may spend a few hundred dollars on a home inspection, it can actually save you money in the long run. When making such a big investment, you want to know what you’re buying, and you want to know everything that could possibly become a problem. An inspector will look at your home from every aspect and find any issues that need to be repaired. A really big one is the foundation. While most homes have cracks in various places, an inspector is trained to know if those cracks are indicative of any foundation problems. They look for areas of water intrusions and any signs of previous or potential future flooding. They check for possible roof leaks that may be small and unnoticed, but could eventually cause some major damage, costing you a lot of money. They inspect the electrical system to be sure that it is up to coding standards and look for possible safety hazards of the system. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully you get the idea that a home inspector isn’t looking for cosmetic issues, but for bigger, possibly more serious problems that need to be considered when buying a home.
A general home inspection is non-invasive, which means your inspector can’t do things like move furniture or see inside the walls. He is not there to make any repairs or to fix things. He is just there to look for any current or potential concerns. A home inspector will let you know if an issue needs further monitoring, if it needs immediate attention from a specialist, or if the issue is minor and can be easily repaired. The extensive report that you receive from your home inspector can be used as a tool in negotiating with the sellers when purchasing a property.
A home inspection generally takes two to three hours, sometimes a while longer for a larger home. You may want to be present during the inspection so that your inspector can go over his findings with you, and you can ask any questions that you may have. You will be glad that you got an inspection, as you will learn a great deal about your new home, and may even learn a few things you never realized.