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Purchasing a home is an exciting milestone in life, but it is important to have your home inspected before you seal the deal and commit to closing on it. Completing a home inspection is perhaps one of the most crucial steps in the closing process and could reveal major problems that would otherwise go undetected until after you have signed your paperwork and moved in. On the flip side, a positive home inspection report ensures that you are making a wise investment.
Whether you are actively looking to purchase a home now or are just doing your homework now in hopes of being a homeowner in the future, read on to learn more about the home inspection process and how it can have an impact on the home you choose to purchase.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is exactly what it sounds like, and it is completed by a professional who is certified to inspect the structure, electrics, plumbing, roof, foundation, and all the innards of a home.
A home inspector’s job is to do a physical inspection of a home and then complete a report outlining their findings. It is best to accompany your home inspector around the home while it is being inspected because the inspector can educate you throughout the process, and you can ask questions as you go.
You must do your research before selecting a home inspector, as the inspection report will impact your decision to purchase the home and the report will also be reviewed by your mortgage lender before you receive the final approval on your home loan. Check out websites like Angie’s List and Yelp to check out home inspector reviews. Be sure to also ask friends and family members to see if they know of a reputable home inspector you can contract with. Home inspections cost between $500-$1000, depending on which company you choose.
Why Should I Get a Home Inspection?
Even though the home you want to purchase may have a fresh coat of paint and look clean and shiny on the outside, this does not always provide an accurate representation of what is going on inside the “guts” of the home.
Home inspectors look for problems within the core of the home such as electrical issues, plumbing leaks, roof damage, structural damage, etc. If left unchecked, these problems could cost you thousands of dollars down the road to repair.
What Happens if the Home Inspector Finds Problems with the Home?
A good home inspector will point out any problems they see as you tour the home together. Once you have received the final inspection report, it is important to look it over closely and ask questions as needed; after reviewing the report, you will have an important decision to make.
If there are substantial problems found in the home or if the home is deemed a health hazard, you can back out of the purchase, ask for a price reduction, or ask the seller to commit to correcting problems before you move forward on closing on the home. If problems are minor, you may even opt to purchase the house as-is and do the repair work yourself. A home inspection helps you and your mortgage lender determine if the home is a worthwhile investment and prevents you from purchasing someone else’s “problem.”
The home inspection report can also be a useful bargaining tool if the home is priced too high. You can ask for a price reduction if there is work to be done, and you feel like committing the time, energy, and money to do it.
A home inspection is an important component of the home-buying process as it provides a clear picture of the good, bad, and ugly of what is going on. It protects you as the buyer from committing to purchasing a home that has substantial problems, and it is a tool used by mortgage lenders to determine if they will finance the home you choose. While a home inspection can seem scary at first, it can save you a lot of headaches in the future.