The home inspection is a standard step in most home buying processes, but some homebuyers are tempted to forgo inspections in the current real estate climate. When you make an offer on a house, here are some of the many reasons why you shouldn’t waive a home inspection.
When you purchase a home, you become responsible for all of the house’s maintenance and repairs. Even if you purchase a home warranty (which is different than an inspection), the warranty might not cover all repairs, and could have limits on what it’ll pay for covered repairs.
If you don’t complete the necessary due diligence, you could be faced with a major expense in the first months or years of ownership. For example, you could be faced with a repair that costs thousands of dollars if there’s an unidentified issue such as:
Even appliances that break can cost hundreds (if not thousands) to replace, and repairing them doesn’t always make financial sense.
A home inspection will check these major systems to confirm that they’re in good working order. In most cases, the home inspector will estimate how long each system will last before needing replacement. They also can mention ways the systems could break down.
Once a home inspector explains what condition each system is in, you can better budget for potential breakdowns. Budgeting for these is especially important when you’re likely considering various home improvement projects.
Should the home be infested with termites or have black mold, remedying either of these situations is an expensive proposition. The process often also requires that you’re out of the house for at least some time.
Not every home inspection includes checking for termites or mold, but these usually can be added onto a base inspection service. Whether you should add them depends on the location, age and general condition of the house. Getting them, of course, provides the most information about the house that you’re spending tens or hundreds of thousands for.
A running toilet, leaking faucet or window that doesn’t lock isn’t nearly as serious as the major issues already mentioned. Nevertheless, these minor repairs should be attended to. A small leak runs up your water bill, a non-locking window leaves your property more at risk, and any number of other minor repairs have other effects.
These sorts of minor repairs will be noted on a home inspection. They’ll give you an overall sense of how well the house has been maintained, and you’ll also have a “honey-do” list when you move in.
Depending on the local housing market where you’re buying, you might be able to negotiate some of the repairs and maintenance off of the sale price. Don’t expect to have success negotiating if it’s a strong seller’s market, where buyers are regularly paying above the asking price. If it’s a more equal market, however, you may successfully save some money.
You probably won’t be able to negotiate every detail noted on a home inspection off of the sale price, but buyers sometimes have success negotiating both major and minor repairs. The negotiation could result in either subtracting the cost of repairs off of the sale price, or you might be able to reach an agreement that the seller must have required work done before the closing date.
While you could try negotiating repair costs on your own, having an inspection that details the needed repairs add legitimacy to your claims.
Home inspectors are well-versed in many aspects of home maintenance and repair. They’ll likely know how to do many minor repairs that are noted on your home inspection, and they’ll have recommendations as to what professionals you can call for the major repairs.
A home inspector may be familiar with a product that helps with certain repairs, a technique that you don’t know, or other pro tips. Comments along these lines can make those minor repairs go much faster and easier for you.
A home inspection is different from an appraisal, but both are extremely helpful during the homebuying process. Most lenders even require appraisals before they’ll underwrite a mortgage. Plan on getting both a home inspection and an appraisal.
To learn more about the homebuying process and appraisals, contact the team members at AmeriMac Appraisal Management. Our team would be happy to discuss the particulars of your offer and home buying situation with you. Of course, we can assist with any appraisal you may need.