What Is A Home Inspection? Do I really need one?
Ashley Moore, Business Development Specialist, Super Inspector
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections uncover the condition of the home and its systems such as the foundation, roof, electrical systems, plumbing, and HVAC.
A proper home inspection is vital when you have made the decision to sign a contract for a new or new to you home- think of it as a type of self-care for your potential investment. For most home buyers, the purchase of a new property is the largest investment they will ever make in their lifetime. Because of this, we at Super Inspector want to make sure you are fully protected. We also want you to thoroughly understand any and all issues that are found so that you are equipped to make a well-informed choice about purchasing the property in question.
10 Reasons for a Home Inspection
1. It Reveals Critical Decision Making Info
A quality home inspection can reveal critical information about the condition of a home and its systems. This makes the buyer aware of what costs, repairs, and maintenance the home may require immediately and over time. If a buyer isn’t comfortable with the findings of the home inspection, it usually presents one last opportunity to back out of the offer to buy. (This step is important when purchasing a property because it may save you thousands.)
A home inspection can detect safety issues and make recommendations for improvements to make your home safer.
3. Reveal Illegal Additions or Installations
A home inspection can reveal whether rooms, altered garages or basements are not constructed to code, which may indicate the improvements were not properly permitted. If a house has illegal room additions that are un-permitted, it affects the insurance, taxes, usability, and most of all the overall value. In essence, a buyer is purchasing something that legally does not exist. Even new homes with systems that were not installed to code will become the new homeowners’ financial “problem” to fix.
Home inspections help protect all parties of the transaction (i.e. Real Estate Agents, Buyers, and Sellers) from future claims by disclosing information that may be unknown to the parties. All parties are better of with full disclosure of the condition of the home’s systems. Seller’s disclosure statements rarely provide all the information concerning possible defects and condition of mechanical equipment. Sellers may not be aware or have sufficient knowledge to disclose pertinent information.
5. Negotiating Tool
A home inspection report presents an opportunity to ask for repairs and/or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. Work with your realtor to understand what requests can and should be made to negotiate a better deal.
6. Forecast Future Costs
A home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems in the home like plumbing, heating and cooling, and critical equipment like water heaters. They can diagnose the current condition of the structure itself and tell you how long finishes have been in the home. All components of the home have a “shelf life.” Understanding when they require replacement can help you make important budgeting decisions and it will determine what type of home insurance coverage or warranties you should consider.
7. Determine “Deal-Breakers”
Home inspections can help buyers identify how much additional money or effort they are willing and able to spend to take the home to a condition that is personally acceptable. If you are unwilling to repair issues like faulty gutters, cracked walls, or ceilings perhaps you are not ready to end your home buying search.
8. Learn to Protect Your Investment
The home inspector is a valuable educational resource. He or she can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home, and ultimately save you thousands of dollars in the long term.
9. Reveal the Big Picture
People should use the home inspection to understand the nuances of what may be the biggest purchase they will ever make. People fall in love with a piece of property based on the color of the walls, the location of the home, or something else but are sometimes blind to the issues that can make that dream home a nightmare.
Some insurance companies will not insure a home if certain conditions are found. They may also not insure a home without the presence of certifications like a Wood Destroying Insect Report or a four-point inspection. Qualified home inspectors can do these things at the same time as their other services and save the home buyer time and money in the long run.