Buying a Home: Do You Need a Home Inspection

When you’re buying your next home, whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, you want to ensure that you always get a home inspection. Many buyers may suggest skipping the inspection as a negotiating tool when putting in their offer, but you should never forgo a home inspection. Most lenders require an inspection to be done in order to secure the loan, to ensure the investment they are making in your home is the right decision. You would be taking a huge risk by taking the seller’s word for the home’s condition.

When you visit the home for your viewing, it’s likely staged and looks fantastic. You may be excited about the home and going through the house quickly, not fully paying attention to the small details. You only truly know the property issues when you live in it for an extended period. Buying a home without an inspection may leave you with a long list of unexpected problems, huge expenses, and regret.

By hiring a professional to take a look at the home, you get an unbiased account of the condition, rather than rely on the seller to disclose every issue. Some sellers may not even know the extent of the issues, or they may say anything to get the sale. If you ask a realtor, they will surely tell you that an inspection is non-negotiable.

The purpose of a home inspection

While an inspection is not a foolproof way of finding out all the problems with your potential new home, it is thorough, and a true professional will do their very best.

A home inspection will take a look at the visible interior and exterior components of the house, ensuring they are in working order and not damaged. An inspector will only evaluate what can be seen, so inside walls or anything they can’t get to will not be inspected. Inspectors will take a look at the exterior siding for cracks or damage, landscaping, irrigation systems and indicate if irrigation repair is required for the structure of the home, and the condition of stairs, driveways, the garage, and more. For the interior, all walls, doors, windows, electrical system, plumbing system, HVAC system, structure, basement, attic, and foundation will all be inspected for damage or wear. You can enlist other professionals’ help to check for asbestos or mold if you wish, but that’s not typically required.

Finding your next home inspector

While you may have family or friends, who can recommend someone they know and trust, doing your research is always recommended. Just as you would when hiring any other professional to come into your home, do some research. Check out reviews, their social media, and website to find someone with the expertise to get the job done right. If you want to ask questions during the inspection, find someone with an excellent customer service track record to ensure they’ll be kind and explain their process as it’s happening. You should always be present for the inspection, and you should expect it to take around one to three hours, depending on the size of the house.

Inspection Tips

When you receive the inspection report, take it seriously. If you are already emotionally invested in the home, try to separate yourself from that to look at the report objectively. Knowing there are serious issues but going ahead with the purchase can wreak havoc on your wallet later. Inspections rarely come out perfect. You are buying a ‘used’ home, after all. If the issues are cosmetic, you can likely take on some DIY projects, but if there are extensive issues, you can negotiate that with the seller to either fix them before taking possession or lower the sale price.