For the past several months of this year, it has become obvious that the real estate market is very active. New and existing home sales are through the roof, and you may have even heard of outlandish stories of homes selling in a day, over asking price, with multiple offers that include personal letters or videos to sellers from buyers seeking an edge to have their offer accepted.
When the market is booming as it has been, buyers can often feel desperation and a feeling of urgency, as if they don’t act quickly enough then the home of their dreams will be sold out from under them in a matter of hours. These days, more than ever, homes are selling site-unseen, and some optional, but vital, steps like getting a proper home inspection are being foregone.
While it is true that time can be of the essence when purchasing a home, one service buyers rarely, if ever, regret is opting for a reliable home inspection. While the out-of-pocket cost is usually between $300-$500, it really is impossible to put a price tag on the invaluable benefits of a home inspection.
Below are four benefits to keep in mind if you are considering a home purchase:
A Home Inspection Offers an Informal Education to the Potential New Home Owner
When you are in the market for a new home, the most you have probably done to get to know the place is to view it online via photos and a video walkthrough as well as visit the home in person. Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases most people will ever make. Consider the inspection process like a deep dive into the inner workings of the home. An inspection offers an informal education on what it takes to maintain this specific home including many important interior and exterior systems. Hiring a professional who knows what to look for and the steps to correct problems can end up saving you thousands of dollars and many headaches down the road.
A Home Inspection Gives Buyers an Inside Out Evaluation
At a home inspection, buyers should first make sure any of their concerns are stated ahead of time if there is something specific they’d like the inspector to check. Otherwise, most standard inspections cover an exterior check of exterior walls, foundations, garage, and entry access, as well as the condition of the roof. Interior checks include plumbing, electrical, HVAC, water heater, laundry venting, fire safety, bathrooms, and sometimes chimneys. If there is a specific worry about mold, that may often come from a separate, more specialized inspection.
A Home Inspection Reveals Obvious and Hidden Issues
With your untrained eye, it may be obvious to you that a home has a missing gutter or that the roof is missing a few shingles. However, an inspection can often reveal many other problems a home may be hiding within its walls, underground, or inside electrical or plumbing systems. Some of these issues may not be a deal-breaker and will only require minimal time or investment to correct. However, some other issues could pose significant hazard issues as well as require tens of thousands of dollars to fix if the problem was to persist. From safety concerns to high-dollar home repair projects, the return on investment from an inspection is immeasurable.
A Home Inspection Gives You Negotiation Power and the Choice to Walk Away
After a proper home inspection, the inspector will offer a list of issues that might pose problems. At this time, the potential buyer has the option to ask the seller to fix these issues or lower the asking price to reflect the financial costs to repair them themselves. Most home inspections offer a seven-day window or a contingency where the buyer can actually walk away from the purchase and the contract becomes null and void. If the home’s problems are too daunting to deal with or if the seller doesn’t choose to either fix or budge on the sales price there is an out. A trained real estate professional will be able to help buyers navigate what is fair and reasonable when making these decisions.
Most of the time the expense of a home inspection can be rolled into the closing costs or sale price of a home. Don’t let this small additional expense be a deterrent. Instead, see it as money well spent for the sake of safety and long-term spending on the home. You will be grateful you have gotten to know your new potential home in this way with all of its special systems.