Buying a New House: Why Home Inspections are so Important

Thursday, July 24, 2014

House DamageBecause home inspections can be pricey, many home buyers opt out of the process. However, a good home inspection could be the one thing standing between you and costly repairs (or worse yet, complete buyer's remorse). Consider the following:

 

  • Inspections of the electricity and gas supplies are legally required in most jurisdictions. 
  • Often, the largest defects and most expensive reparis are difficult to spot during a regular walk-through. For example, the seller can mask the smell of mould and wet or dry rot with air freshener, and termites are not always visible. These are problems that can weaken the physical structure of the house (Jeffner, 2014).
  • Depending on interested parties to provide accurate information about the age of the roof, heating and cooling systems, and so on may leave you with sizeable repair or replacement expenses soon after you move in (Folgate, 2014).
  • Where experienced inspectors are trained to ferret out defects, most home buyers are not. Moreover, even informed buyers may be too embarrassed to crawl onto the roof or around the lawn. 
  • It's always a good idea to accompany the inspectors and ask questions about defects and possible replacement options.  
  • A home inspection may not be as expensive as you think. Sellers who are confident about their homes see it as a way to speed up a sale, and will often foot part of the bill.
  • If a professional inspection team has examined the house, you can show the report to the seller and negotiate the asking price. Even if you can bring down the sales price by only half of the projected cost of repairs, you can save thousands of dollars.
  • As with any other service, you should ask the right questions before hiring a home inspector. If they inform you they do not climb on roofs or check appliances like air conditioners and heating systems, try someone else. If they have little experience antiquated training or credentials, continue your search. Since real-estate agents struggle to sell defective homes, this clash of interest suggests you should ask for recommendations elsewhere (Scherzer & Andrews, 2014).

    Would you rather pay $500 now, or thousands later?