A home can be an emotional purchase, but no home is perfect, not even a new one. So before you finalize the purchase with the seller, it’s important to have an outside pair of eyes evaluate the property for your own peace of mind.
The home inspector will look for any issues with the home that may need work – things like the roof, heating and cooling systems, foundation, electric, plumbing, insulation and overall structure.
Don’t expect the inspection to automatically affect the purchase price downward, but certain issues may be used to ask for concessions from the seller. This possible extra round of negotiation demonstrates why it’s important that your inspector be an independent party and not a relative or friend, even if he or she licensed. And by all means attend the inspection and ask questions. You might learn about small issues you’ll need to take of in the future.
If I’m Already Paying for an Appraisal, Do I Still Need a Home Inspection?
The answer to this question requires a few more questions:
Q: What is the difference between an Appraisal and an Inspection?
A: This is basically an apples vs. oranges comparison. The home appraiser’s job is to provide a “value” for the home in question. In that spirit, appraisers give a cursory once-over of the overall condition (as it appears to the naked eye) of a home. On the other hand, the home inspector’s job is to help identify structural, mechanical and other issues and deficiencies of the home you’re buying.
Q: When should I definitely spend the money on a thorough home inspection?
A: My advice is – most always a home inspection is a wise investment. Think of a home inspection as the due-diligence that could potentially save you tens of thousands down the road – especially when it comes to older homes.
Q: When could I potentially forego the home inspection process (and cost)?
A: I recommend you don’t take this risk. But there are a few instances where I understand why buyers forego the home inspection:
- You’re purchasing new construction and the builder has both a sterling reputation and a solid warranty on the home in question.
- You are comfortable with a “high risk – low reward” situation.
- You are extremely handy and feel comfortable that you can either inspect the home yourself or can rectify future problems on your own. But – even still – some problems can’t be rectified easily no matter how handy you think you are!
So in the end our sincere recommendation is to make the investment in your peace of mind – and hire a licensed and experienced home inspector once you find the home you’d like to purchase. If you’d like a reference to someone you can trust, please reach out and we’ll be happy to make an introduction.