- A home inspector puts your interests first.
An independent home inspector works for you and puts your best interest first when buying a home. You do not want an inspector pushed on you by your realtor (such inspectors work more for realtor referrals than homebuyers). Realtors want the deal to go through smoothly so they can get paid. A bank’s inspector is looking out for the best interest of the bank. You hire a home inspector to give you an unbiased report on the condition of a home.
- Contingency clauses.
Purchase agreements contain a contingency clause allowing the buyer to opt out based on unsatisfactory results from a home inspection. If a buyer isn’t comfortable with the findings of the home inspection, it usually presents the only opportunity to back out of the offer without having to forfeit your deposit or more. A good home inspection could save you thousands of dollars and potential legal hassles.
- Safety issues.
A home inspection can report on electrical, structural and other safety issues you may not be aware of. Make sure that your home-buying contract states that if safety concerns (such as mold) are detected, you have the option to cancel the home purchase agreement.
- Price negotiations.
A realtor will tell you the home inspection report presents an opportunity to ask for repairs and/or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. This is for significant conditions reported that you were unaware of prior to the inspection, which can represent hundreds or thousands of dollars. Based on the findings of the home inspection report, if needed, your realtor will work with you to re-negotiate in your favor.
- Future expenses.
A good home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems and estimate the remaining service life of the buildings components such as decks, roofs, furnace, water heater, air conditioning and more. This is helpful information in budgeting for future replacement of major components. A qualified home inspector can suggest specific steps and tips on how to maintain the home, which could ultimately save you thousands of dollars in the long term.
- Avoid insurance/mortgage denials.
Some insurance companies will not insure a home if certain conditions are found. For example, some insurance companies will not insure a home if there is live knob and tube wiring present anywhere on the property and many insurance companies will not insure it if there is knob and tube wiring in the attic that is covered with insulation (fire hazard). Likewise with mortgage companies, some will not carry the loan if they determine high-cost repairs are needed such as a new roof. Qualified home inspectors will let you know what ancillary testing might be warranted and conduct them at the same time as their other services and save the home buyer time and money in the long run.
It is your responsibility to understand all the details of a house you may soon call home. Home inspections reveal the inner workings of a property, allowing you to be informed of all the perks and pitfalls a home has to offer.