When buying a new home, a home inspection is an essential step to help determine if the home you have your eye on is up to code and ready to be purchased. While you’re not required to have a home inspection, it can provide key insights into your potential property and can help protect your investment.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection assesses the property’s condition. While an inspection is optional, it can benefit you in the long run and show you exactly what repairs or improvements the home may need.
A home inspector will visually assess both the physical structure and the mechanical system. Once your home inspection is completed, the findings are compiled into a report that will tell you what repairs are necessary and highlight what needs to be updated. Depending on what the home inspector finds, you may choose to move on to the closing, renegotiate the asking price, request repairs or cancel the sales contract overall. To find out more about how home inspections work, our step by step guide shows what a home inspector looks for, and what isn’t included in their review.
What is in a home inspection report?
Remember, a home inspection is not a simple pass or fail test. A home inspection will provide a detailed look at improvements that should be made to the home before purchasing and can open the door to renegotiations for the buyer. The report will include general information about the home including its address, information about the inspection and contact information for the inspector. Inspectors also take a picture of issues that they find. This can be helpful if you’re not able to attend the inspection. The final page of the report includes a summary for each issue and a symbol or rating that speaks to the severity of their findings.
Why should you get a home inspection?
While a home inspection isn’t required, it’s a good to consider getting one before purchasing a home. Home inspections provide you with the opportunity to identify major issues with the home before it becomes your own. If issues go unnoticed before finalizing the contract or even closing, you may end up paying thousands of dollars to fix them later on. You may be tempted to skip a home inspection because you already like what you see, but it helps catch any potential issues before you buy.
How much does a home inspection cost?
A home inspection can be one of the most important steps in the buying process. The cost can vary from $200 to $500, or more, based on the size of the home as well as its location. As a buyer, you may be responsible for the cost of the inspection.
One of the biggest concerns that both buyers and sellers have is what the inspection will uncover. The report will help you decide whether it’s best to move forward with the purchase, seek repairs, renegotiate or cancel the contract. Most sales contracts provide a specified amount of time that allows for the inspection to be completed with the ability to cancel if unable to come to an agreement with the seller for any deficiencies noted.
What you can expect during the home inspection process
It’s common for a home inspection report to have findings. Even though there may be multiple things that need to be repaired, it doesn’t mean that you should cancel the contract. Many findings may be simple fixes that can be made by the seller or buyer. Others, though, may be more involved.
Some of the most common serious items found are:
- Foundation issues
- Water damage
- Electrical damage
- Roof problems
- Safety and security features
- Exterior maintenance
What you can do to make the most of your home inspection
A home inspector is there to look for potential structural and safety issues, and there are some things you can do to get the most out of your inspection, including:
- Research your inspector before hiring them
- Be present for the inspection
- Ask questions that you may have throughout the inspection
- Review the finished report
- Schedule additional testing in case anything is missed
- Re-inspect after repairs are made
Why is a home inspection important?
Home inspections play a key role when it comes to helping prevent unwanted surprises before you move in. While an inspection may seem stressful at first, they’re a great way to get to know more about the home you plan to buy. If you have any questions about home inspections, a Home Lending Advisor can help.