Buying a house is a major investment, one of the largest financial transactions you might make in your lifetime. If you’re on the market, you’ve no doubt done some research about your potential new neighborhood, future taxes, and mortgage rates. And you’ve probably looked into homeowners insurance, home warranties, and flood insurance to make sure you protect your investment. But there’s one thing that can save you years of headaches (and quite a bit of money): a proper home inspection. Here are four reasons why you should have a professional check for damage your eyes can’t see, before you close the deal.
1. They’ll Identify Problem Areas.
A home investigator’s main job is to identify potential problems with your home. Some of them will probably be obvious issues you might have been able to spot: a damaged driveway, cracks in the foundation, rotten siding. But a home inspector has a larger frame of reference and can also shine a light on more subtle issues with your new home. Chances are, you probably won’t be able to spot termites in the basement or a bathroom exhaust that vents into the attic on a house tour. A home inspector will, and can steer you away from purchasing a home that needs all new windows, new plumbing, and entirely new floors. Don’t buy a fixer-upper by accident.
2. Even New Homes Can Have Shoddy Workmanship.
Don’t assume that just because you’re buying a newly constructed or remodeled house, you don’t need an inspector. Just because a home looks new, that doesn’t mean that the quality of workmanship is high. An inspection can bring shoddy work to light — like exposed wires or poorly-planned drainage systems — and save you quite a bit of money in future repairs.
3. You Might Learn a Thing or Two.
Don’t you want to know more about your new house? An inspector can tell you things about it you might not pick up from the real estate agent’s spiel. If you’re the sort of person who wants to bring a mechanic along when you buy a car, accompanying a home inspector on his or her tour will probably be of interest. You’ll be able to find out the age and condition of nearly every component of your new home, which will make it easier to complete DIY repairs later.
4. You Can Use Them to Negotiate.
It’s never great to find out that your home needs major repairs or has problems you didn’t anticipate. But there’s a silver lining: If a home inspector finds an issue, you can usually use the inspection results to negotiate the price down, or at least force the seller to make repairs before you finalize the deal. If a $500 inspection means you save thousands on installing new plumbing or replacing a roof, it’s money well spent.
A survey by the American Society of Home Inspectors found that 90% of U.S. homeowners think inspections are a necessity for a home purchase. If you aren’t yet convinced that it’s necessary in your case, consider that 72% said their inspection helped them avoid future problems, and 64% said their inspection saved them money. To find a qualified inspector, try searching on ASHI’s website or the InterNACHI of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Chances are, your real estate agent can also point you toward a few reliable local options.
This article was provided by Sam Radbil, a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO apartments.