A home inspection is one of the most crucial parts of the home buying process. Although you may be tempted to skip the home inspection and save some money, this could end up costing you more in the long-term. If you’re buying a house and wondering whether you should have one, here are a few reasons why the inspection is crucial.
What Is A Home Inspection?
Home inspections are an opportunity for you to identify any significant issues with your new home before you close. An inspection can help discover any significant defects with the house, enabling you to continue with the sales process with your eyes wide open.
In fact, many sales contracts include inspection contingencies. This allows you to retract your offer if any problems are discovered, without financial penalty or legal consequences.
What Do Home Inspectors Do?
Home inspectors examine the condition of a home and compile their findings in an inspection report. Most inspections last a couple of hours; however, this varies depending on the home’s size and how many components there are to inspect. It’s always a good idea for the buyer to be present at the home inspection; this gives you an opportunity to ask any questions if the inspector discovers an issue.
Inspectors will typically classify each problem as either a safety issue which someone should take care of immediately, a major defect that could be costly, or a minor defect that should be repaired or serviced.
What Is Not Covered in an Inspection?
It’s important to remember that an inspection is a snapshot of the home at that time, and an inspector can’t find everything wrong. Home inspectors rely on visual cues; for instance, if there is a leak, but the leak can’t be seen without tearing down the drywall, a home inspector won’t be able to tell you definitively if it’s there.
Other areas home inspectors can’t inspect include:
- Under flooring
- Inside sewer lines or pipes
- Behind electrical panels
- Inside chimneys
Furthermore, although home inspectors can advise you that there may be something wrong with the home, you’ll have to seek the advice of an expert to verify the issue and advise you of the cost to fix it.
In addition, specialized issues such as asbestos, site contamination, and mold should be handled by experts. If your inspector has a reason to believe your potential new home has any of these issues, they will advise you accordingly.
How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost?
The average inspection costs around $315 for a home that’s between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet. Of course, this can be much higher, depending on the home’s size and location.
Although a home inspection can be extremely useful, it’s important to remember that it should not be the sole determinant for purchasing a house. The inspection will simply help you determine the scope of work that the home needs.
In addition, no home is free and clear of problems — even new construction. For significant issues, you should seek a professional’s advice to help you estimate the cost of repair. The seller may be willing to fix some issues for you before closing, so negotiation is key. A credit towards your closing costs could be a useful way to take care of repairs after closing. If you opt for credit, ensure that you get accurate quotes to avoid ending up short.
Should You Have An Inspection?
Although a home inspection might cost you some extra time and money, it can save you a lot of potential problems in the long run. Even if you’re buying a new home construction, you should have an inspection. Not only can an inspection reveal costly issues, but it’s also a chance to negotiate with the current owners. Whatever the issue may be, addressing the problem before closing could save you buying a money pit.