In this fast paced real estate market, you may be tempted to forego including the condition of a home inspection on the house you’re making an offer on. Although home inspections aren’t mandatory, it could mean the difference between moving into a safe, comfortable home, and ending up in a money pit.
A professional home inspection is much more than a brief once-over of cosmetic problems. The inspector goes deep into many areas of the house that an untrained individual would not consider. It’s an excellent learning opportunity to go through the house you’ve put an offer on with your inspector. It really helps you to get to know the home you’re purchasing. A home inspection will also educate you on the vast number of duties required in owning a home. This is great for both first time buyers who can be unaware of all that’s required, and also as a refresher for repeat buyers. The inspector will alert you to what’s needed to make the home safe and get it up to code, which once you’ve fixed the issues will help to prevent someone potentially getting hurt on your property.
If the home inspection reveals considerable repair(s) are needed, you may be able to negotiate a lower price for the house than originally offered. For example, if the furnace needs to be replaced, part of your offer could be for the current owner to either A) make sure the furnace is repaired before you move in, or B) knock the original offered price down by an amount equivalent to replacing the furnace yourself once you take ownership. Big projects such as heating/cooling systems, the roof, and foundation or plumbing issues can be negotiated.
It is disheartening to think that the “home of your dreams” could slip through your fingers if you choose to include a home inspection as a condition in your offer. But just keep in mind how awful it would be if you find out AFTER the purchase has gone through (sans inspection) that it needs a new foundation. That’s weeks of family life disrupted- not to mention the thousands of dollars needed to repair a foundation. Most new homebuyers don’t have that kind of money just lying around, considering all the mandatory expenses that accompany moving.
It’s not just finances that can take a bit hit if you choose to skip a home inspection. Consider that an inspection could alert you to potential health problems you may encounter in the house. A professional home inspector can tell if the home’s ventilation system is adequate. This is important because if it isn’t, mould could be growing in your home; and something like mould can cause a whole host of health problems. The same goes for older homes that could potentially have asbestos hiding in the attic. These are hidden health hazards, among others, that a home inspector would easily spot.
To find a reputable, professional home inspector, ask around for references and recommendations from friends/family/co-workers etc. There are also websites dedicated to providing people’s reviews on home services such as home inspectors, such as HomeStars.
Your home is probably the biggest financial investment you will ever make. Don’t make the mistake of skipping the home inspection and risking your future in your new home. Start of right and you should have many happy years in your new home. Happy inspecting!