In 2022, the average price for a house in the U.S. was around $350,000, and newly built homes saw an 18% price increase. Buying a home is a major investment that requires a lot of research and financial preparation.
That’s why you shouldn’t easily place your signature on that deed of sale. You have to be certain that the house you’re buying is in good shape and that you and your family will be safe living in it. A home inspection is the best way to ensure your safety and that of your family.
Read on to learn about what a home inspection entails and why it’s important.
Have you ever done a full system scan of your computer to ensure it has no viruses and that everything is in working order? A home inspection is similar to that.
Your home inspector will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the house where vital external structures such as the roofing system, gutters, windows, and porches will be checked. The interior of the house, including your HVAC systems and kitchen appliances, will also be inspected. The entire process usually takes a few hours to complete and typically costs around $300 to $700.
A home inspection will allow you to make an informed decision and allow you to cancel the purchase should major external or internal defects be found.
Aside from helping you decide whether or not to buy the house, a home inspection presents other direct benefits for you and other would-be occupants.
There are around 2.5 million burglary incidents in the U.S. annually. Hence, you wouldn’t want to live in an unsecured home with compromised locks or hidden passageways that crooks can exploit.
A home inspection will help reveal the home’s security vulnerabilities. The locking mechanisms of all doors and windows will be examined. Outdoor basement doors would be inspected for signs of loose hinges or decay. Moreover, an inspection expert’s thorough examination of the premises will reveal any hidden openings or passageways.
Speaking of hidden matters, there might be illegal or unauthorized home changes or attachments the seller failed to disclose. These can take the form of basement or garage alterations that were made without securing a permit.
While having more rooms seems like a good thing, you’ll also need to make sure that these are not products of unauthorized housing extensions. Such alterations and extensions can give you future legal problems and your home insurance carrier may refuse to grant you coverage.
A thorough home inspection can help bring these unauthorized alterations to light.
Homeowners spend as much as 4% of their home’s value on repair annually, and this is bound to increase as the house ages. Home repair can get costly, especially if the problem is already wide-scale. That’s why prevention is better than cure.
A home inspection is the best way to prevent early house problems from progressing. The roof may look perfectly fine, but it may be starting to warp or rot. There may be small leaks and mold build-up in the attic or harmful gasses like radon may already be getting through cracks and crevices. A home inspector will detect these problems in their early stages, thus helping you save money and stay safe inside your home.
There are vital components of the house that are seldom checked due to not being visually apparent like the electrical and plumbing systems.
Among the three main causes of residential fires is an electrical malfunction. Hence, get a professional inspector to check the breaker and essential wiring for signs of damage. A compromised electrical system can cause a spike in your electric bill, so an inspection will also help you save on costs.
Moreover, the pipes need to be inspected for issues like clogs, leaks, and molds. It wouldn’t be nice to spend your first night in the house slipping from a pipe leak or without running water.
Always make sure to get an actual home inspection rather than rely on a home service provider to tell you what repairs are needed. Unlike an impartial home inspection, a home service provider is incentivized to make assessments that will prompt you to avail yourself of their offerings. In other words, they will inspect your property with an eye toward what products and services they can offer you after inspecting your home, which makes for a biased assessment.
However, a home inspector’s assessment does not work that way. Home inspectors have no other interest in the house apart from their objective of making a fair assessment of it. They will note everything they see or do not see in the home and present you with impartial findings.
However, some home inspectors are affiliated with home repair and service contractors, so you should inquire and do due diligence to make sure that you hire an independent home inspector.
There’s nothing better than having the peace of mind that you made a good home purchase. A home inspection will allow you to sleep well at night, knowing that the ceiling will not collapse and that there is no faulty wiring that will cause a fire.
Moreover, you won’t have to worry about doing all the climbing and crawling yourself. The home inspector will do these inconvenient things for you. You can just sit, relax, and wait for the inspector to finish.
Often it pays to do a home inspection, because you may find something that requires repair or additional maintenance such as mold or a leaky roof, and then you can renegotiate the purchase price. Your purchase agreement with the seller should always contain an inspection contingency clause, also called a “due diligence contingency,” that gives you the ability to renegotiate the price of the home based on new information uncovered by the inspection. You can then renegotiate the price accordingly.
If you’re securing a mortgage to buy a house, a home inspection is definitely not something you should skip. From detecting problems at their early stages to providing an unbiased home evaluation, there are many reasons why you should get the house you’re planning to buy inspected.
To receive further assistance with your real estate transaction, consult a reputable mortgage advisor.
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