what they are, why you should get one and what they are not…
Congratulations, your offer was accepted and you’re going to be a new homeowner! Before the celebratory glass of champagne, there’s one step you still need to consider: the home inspection. Home inspections give buyers an idea of their new home’s condition, and is highly recommended on any property you purchase – especially one that is not new construction. Here are our top reasons why you should absolutely have a home inspection, and then our top three things home inspections are not.
The home inspection is your opportunity to accompany a certified professional throughout your potential new home. He or she will look at the major components of the home to make sure everything is structurally sound with the property. These commonly include an evaluation of the home’s foundation, siding, windows and shingles. They will also point out any immediate safety concerns such as evident mold issues, gas leaks, ungrounded outlets and loose electrical wires. The inspector’s job is to make you aware of the complete basic status of your new home, and help you create a list of things to be taken care of immediately upon move-in.
This is your opportunity to be there during the home inspection to ask questions and gain a better understanding on what your responsibilities will be moving forward to maintain your property. The inspection process will give you better insight to how well the property has been maintained up to this point, potential problem areas and items to budget for in the future. Your inspector will provide a detailed, written report on the information gained during the inspection – it’s a good idea to keep this report handy the first year in your new home to reference and budget with. As three to seven years is the average homeownership period, use this timeline to budget for and take care of any outstanding items from the initial inspection report that should be addressed before transferring to another buyer.
Now that we’ve determined what a home inspection is and why you should get one when searching for a new home, there are a few things to keep in mind of what a home inspection is not.
- First, the home inspection should be part of the conversation on your offer, but it is not a sole reason to renegotiate the price with the seller. Although you can retract a purchase agreement on an inspection contingency, you should never tie up a house while continuing to look, knowing you have an “out”. The seller has agreed to the home inspection terms in good faith that you are interested in purchasing their home.
- Second, a home inspection is not a guarantee that everything is going to be perfect. The home inspector will do their best to identify all the areas of your new home to be aware of, but the inspection report should be viewed mostly as a guide as you move forward to understand what you just purchased.
- Lastly, a home inspection is not supposed to be an end-all, be-all list to transform this property into a new home. As property ages, new codes and restrictions come into play, and if you are not purchasing a new construction property, chances are there will be items in the inspection that are not entirely up to most recent code – and that’s okay! The inspector is looking for major structural issues with the property that will keep you safe in your journey of homeownership.
Understanding why you’re having an inspection, and how you can use the results of the inspection in the first few years of owning this home, is pretty important. There are many insights to be gained from a home inspection, which is why we always advise to have one where necessary.
If you’re interested in starting the home buying or selling process, we’d love to meet with you. Contact us today.