Buying a home is the biggest investment most people will ever make. It’s hardly surprising that many want to have it checked out by an expert before handing over their hard-earned money. A home inspection can provide buyers with valuable information about the state of a property and peace of mind.
However, not all house inspections are conducted in the same way, and some inspectors are better than others at providing informative reports.
This article focuses on why performing regular inspections during homeownership is beneficial and why being aware of issues a home buyer will face upon taking possession of their dream property is crucial to ensure a happy homeownership experience.
1. Spot the Problems Before They Get Worse
Home inspections are a great way to discover potential problems before they become too expensive to repair. According to the National Association of Realtors, home inspections help prevent major — and often costly — surprises after closing a deal on a new or used home. When buying an older home, it’s important to have it inspected before one buys it.
Home inspectors check structural components such as foundations, walls and ceilings, heating and air-conditioning systems, electrical outlets, and wiring for problems such as rot or damage. They also test water supply pipes for leaks.
Field inspection companies can also examine electrical appliances and plumbing fixtures. They can also perform a visual examination throughout the house, looking for potential problems that might not be obvious even upon close inspection by a prospective buyer (carpets hiding excessive wear on floorboards). They then create a report at the end of the inspection to both the buyer and the seller, and this is a legally binding document.
2. Give Oneself Peace of Mind
Home inspectors sell peace of mind to prospective buyers. They give families who are buying a home valuable insight into the condition of the structure. This way, they have many options on how to deal with the situation:
- They can include a contingency clause in the contract. This part will say that the buyer may have the right to cancel the agreement, not push through with the buying process, or stop the offer if the seller cannot fix the repair.
- Homebuyers can properly negotiate for the best price for the house. They can ask for a lower price if they plan on doing the repairs themselves.
- Not all problems may be dire, and so they might not require any solutions now. However, home inspections can help potential homeowners know what to watch out for.
3. Potentially Increase the Property’s Home Value
Many sellers think that home inspection benefits only home buyers. Some may even discourage them from hiring one since it will only be an additional expense.
In reality, field inspectors can help both sellers and buyers. Sellers, in particular, can use their services to learn what else they can do to improve their property and increase their chances of getting an offer quickly. Even if they are not planning to sell the house now, a home inspection can be a tool to appreciate its market value faster.
What to Expect from a Home Inspection
Usually, homebuyers can choose between two types of inspection. The most basic inspection is the limited home inspection. An inspector may only walk around the outside and inside of a house looking for obvious problems or safety hazards such as frayed electrical cords, exposed pipes, or broken windows.
A standard home inspection includes more in-depth probing in all parts of the building — including attics, basements, and crawl spaces — often using special equipment such as an infrared camera to detect problems.
A whole-house inspection includes even more in-depth probing than a standard home inspection. The report usually notes only the most serious structural or safety hazards, with recommendations for correcting them. They may note other issues as “items of concern” that require further evaluation by an expert.
In all types, though, professional field inspectors will take photos and notes for proper documentation.
What to Do After a Home Inspection
A home inspection report is only as valuable as the parties’ willingness to act upon its findings. Having an expert evaluate what’s inside and behind the walls of the house is not enough. They have to address problems revealed during the inspection.
Depending on their severity, one or both can choose to fix or repair them by themselves or hire professionals for assistance. A good real estate service provider will resolve any possible issues before handing over possession of the new property.
A home inspection is optional, and a home buyer can always get a property sight unseen. But in many cases, the risks outweigh the benefits—and often, the consequences are costly.