Purchasing a home is a time-consuming, expensive and comprehensive investment. You’ve checked the neighborhood, marked off the amenities you require, and negotiated a price. When you buy a home, you aren’t just buying the marble countertops, large master suite and detached garage you wanted, though. You’re also purchasing any existing issues in the building. From an unstable foundation to cracked walls – these unexpected and sometimes hidden faults need to be revealed. Getting a home inspection will help you negotiate a better price with the seller, so repairs will be more affordable. The results of a home inspection might even leave you looking for another home to buy.
Brand new structures need inspections, too. Just because a home was newly constructed, doesn’t mean it can’t have its issues. For about $500 and a few hours of time, a professional inspector can let you know if your investment is legitimate.
A typical home inspection will cover the home from top to bottom. It will start with checking on the roof and end with inspecting the foundation, including every major system in between. Plumbing, electrical, heating, and septic systems are all checked for issues.
Once the inspection is complete, you’ll receive a detailed report of the home inspector’s findings. This list will help identify any structural defects or problems with the major systems. From there, you can evaluate your decision to finalize the purchase. You may be able to convince the seller to pay for repairs, or give you a credit at closing to get the problems fixed.
It’s important to remember that haggling over the results of your home inspection with the seller can backfire. Sellers are not required to make or pay for the repairs on the home. If the structural integrity and safety of the home are listed in the home inspection report, those are items to focus on. If small issues are inexpensive, opt to fix them or pay for them yourself, instead of pressuring the seller.
A CLUE report – Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange – reports all of the insurance claims that were filed for the home in the last 5-7 years. This is an additional piece of information that you can receive from the seller or insurer to aid in your evaluation.
A home inspection is an all-inclusive examination of the condition of a home. Knowing what you’re really buying beyond what a quick overview or walking tour can spot, is crucial to the home buying process. Your home inspection will alert you to serious issues that need to be fixed or could threaten the safety of the home. It will also help you negotiate the price you’re willing to pay for the home. The more you know about the house, the better your bargaining will be, and home inspections give you that edge.