Why You Need a Home Inspection
A home inspection is an essential part of buying a home. It will provide peace of mind, and may benefit you in other ways, too. Before you make an offer, check out these reasons that we always recommend including a home inspection contingency in your home buying process.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is the process of hiring a licensed professional home inspector to carefully review a home you are in escrow to buy. After your offer is accepted, a home inspection can take place to uncover any potential issues with the property that were not obvious during your walk-through and were not disclosed by the sellers.
While a home inspection may not uncover every possible problem with the home, because it is a non-invasive visual inspection, it will provide a significantly better idea of the condition of the home.
Who Pays for a Home Inspection?
Home inspections generally cost between $250 and $500 depending on the size of the home and how long the inspector will spend reviewing it. In some cases, you may need to hire a specialized inspector if you are considering a historic home or have specific concerns about radon, asbestos, or the HVAC system.
Most of the time the buyer pays for the home inspection as a part of the escrow process. In some cases, a seller will pay for a home inspection before listing and offer the report to buyers. You may want to pay for your own home inspection in this case, to be totally confident in the results.
Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?
Having a home inspection is not technically required to a buy a house, though your lender may require it. However, we do no recommend forgoing the inspection because this is your chance to avoid unpleasant surprised after moving in.
Having a home inspection means you will most likely know whether anything is in need of immediate attention, or whether it is likely to need repair or replacement in the near future. Depending on the age of the home and its condition, a home inspection may discover something that is a costly issue or even a deal breaker for you.
After the home inspection report is given to you, either there will be no significant damage or problems revealed and you can move forward with your purchase in total peace of mind, or something will be discovered and you have options. Your options include:
- Backing out of the purchase because whatever was discovered is a deal breaker for you
- Negotiating for a lower price based on the new information regarding the condition of the home
- Asking the seller for a credit to cover the cost of the repair, renovation, or replacement that will be required, based on contractor's estimates
- Requesting that the seller complete the repair or replacement before closing, subject to approval by another inspection
Any of these options might be right for you, but the key is having had the home inspection in the first place. You don't know what you don't know, so we always consider more information to be a good thing.