Buying a home can seem daunting enough let alone the pressure of the home inspection. What’s wrong with a home inspection, you may ask? Well, it can be a tad disconcerting because a home inspector is paid to find all the things wrong with the house you are about to buy. This begs the questions then, “Do I really need a home inspection? Why would I want to spend $450 on a home inspection? Isn’t it obvious what the house needs or doesn’t need?” You might be thinking that way when you decide to put in an offer on a house, but believe me; you are certainly going to want an inspector to take a look at it.
It’s always good to get a second pair of trained eyes to examine a property. Everything may appear in working order, but the inspector knows exactly what to check. For instance, they observe if there are any water stains, they make sure the dishwasher is running correctly, they can tell if the light switches are functioning properly or not, they check to assure that the outlets are functioning, that the breakers don’t pop when you turn something on, etc., all the things that might not be apparent to the naked eye. Now, a full detailed home inspection on a 2-bedroom condo, for instance, could be a little unnecessary because all he’s really going to look at are the plugs and GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupter) and things like that. However, in a single-family home, the basement can reveal a lot about the structure. An inspector will view the siding, the roof, and will point out what may be in need of repair, sure, but a home inspector is going to point out those irregular things, as well: If the roof is beyond its serviceable life, if the siding is cracking, if the boiler needs service, if the hot water tank looks a little rusted, a little corroded, if the electrical needs updating…
The fact is you are paying for their expertise in this service. They are there to help you avoid the pitfalls of the unknown; they suggest what could go wrong with the house. They aren’t licensed electricians, or general contractors, and they don’t typically know every piece of code for every different city, but a home inspector will find and wants you to be aware of all the potential hazards. It is then up to you, as the buyer, to decide what is important to you. What you think is a potential hazard and what you think you’d need to have fixed in order for you to move into the house comfortably. Regardless of what is uncovered, whether the support beams are double tapped or double screwed or whatever he may come up with, if the house obviously has somebody in it, I wouldn’t be too concerned about much because, it isn’t going to collapse or anything. The whole point is for you to make sure that you pick what is truly important and negotiate from there. That’s what a homebuyer agent is going to do for you with the home inspection information.
So there are two different ways of looking at this information: 1) Have the home inspection and use it as a renegotiating tool, or 2) Have the home inspection to legitimately ask for the things to be fixed that the seller probably already knew about. There are some people who just waive the inspection altogether, don’t think it’s necessary. I do not recommend that! I always recommend having a home inspection! Even if they’re just pointing out some of the features of the house that the agent missed, it’s still good info to have. Definitely worth it!
This free eGuide will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn’t even know you should consider when buying a home.