Top Reasons To Have A Home Inspection When Buying A Home

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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Top Reasons To Have A Home Inspection When Buying A Home

Top Reasons To Have A Home Inspection When Buying A Home

When buying a home, you have the right to complete many different types of inspections of the potential home you’re purchasing.  A home inspection is actually one of the most common contract contingencies from home buyer’s.  Whether you have purchased five homes or you’re going to buying your first home, a home inspection in almost every case, is highly recommended.

Why is the home inspection contingency one of the most commonly seen and also highly recommended?  There are actually many reasons why the home inspection contingency is one of the most commonly seen contingencies in purchase and sale contracts in real estate and also why having a home inspection is highly recommended.

So, what are the reasons why you should have a home inspection when buying a home?  Here are many of the top reasons to have a home inspection when buying a home.

Peace Of Mind

A home is one of the largest purchases and investments that is purchased in anyone’s lifetime.  The costs associated with buying a home are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.  One of the most important reasons to have a home inspection when buying a home is the peace of mind that it can provide.

The primary purpose of a home inspection is to make sure the home is for the most part a very solid and safe home.  By waiving the opportunity to have a home inspection, you may actually be creating additional and unnecessary anxiety and stress.  By performing a home inspection, you will have the added peace of mind that you’re purchasing a very solid and safe home.

Relatively Inexpensive

Another reason to have a home inspection when buying a home is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money.  Most home inspections will range between $300-$600 depending on the size of the home.  Since buying a home is such a large investment, the small amount of money it costs for a home inspection should help make the decision easy to have an inspection, even if you feel extremely comfortable with the home you’re purchasing.

Buyer’s who decide to waive their right to having a home inspection often regret in the future about not spending the few hundred dollars it costs to hire a home inspector.  The most common circumstance when a buyer waives the right to having a home inspection is when there are multiple offers on a home.  If there is a multiple offer situation where the two offers are fairly similar and one of the offers is not contingent on having a home inspection, a seller is likely to select the offer with no home inspection contingency.

Uncover Safety Issues

The home inspection is the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the home you’re potentially going to be purchasing.  It’s important to understand that a quality home inspector will find some issues with every home, even a newly built home.  Some of the issues that are found may not be a big deal while some maybe serious safety issues.

Some issues that are discovered during a home inspection are actually quite common.  Issues such as improper electrical wiring, worn roofing, inoperable windows, and plumbing deficiencies are just a few of the most commonly found home inspection issues.  The purpose of a home inspection is not to make sure that every last thing in a home is perfect to your liking, however, it’s important that the home inspection determines the home has no glaring safety issues.

Discovering Pest & Insect Problems Is A Reason To Have A Home Inspection

Discovering Pest & Insect Problems Is A Reason To Have A Home Inspection

Reveal Possible Pest & Insect Problems

Pest and insect infestation can destroy a home.  Depending on your location, the likelihood of having a pest or insect problem will vary.  There are many different types of pests and insects that can create problems in a home.  Wood-boring pests and insects, such as termites, can be a huge problem if not discovered.  Termites cause approximately five billion dollars in damage to properties yearly.  Other common wood destroying pests include carpenter ants and powder post beetles.

Some home inspections will include a pest and insect inspection and others will not.  Be sure to ask your real estate agent whether or not they have any home inspectors or pest inspection companies who can make sure the home you’re purchasing does not have any pest or insect problems.

Find Structural Issues

One of the top reasons to have a home inspection when buying a home is to determine if there are any structural issues with the home.  The structure of a home is one of the most important components to a home.  Structural issues can costs thousands of dollars to correct if discovered and by performing a home inspection, you can avoid having such a large expense in the future.

When choosing a home inspector, know that some home inspectors are professional engineers (PE’s) and some are not.  A home inspector who is a professional engineer should be able to determine whether a home has structural issues or not.  Other things to be aware of while looking a homes that could be potential structural issues include significant cracks in ceilings and walls, cracking in the foundation walls, and out of level door frames.

Forecast Potential Future Expenses

Since buying a home can be a significant investment and can deplete a buyer’s bank account, it’s important to know what to expect in the future when it comes to expenses.  It’s important to understand that there are no guarantees when it comes to the unexpected expenses of owning a home.  While unlikely, it’s possible that a new hot water tank can be defective and need replacement shortly after closing.

Another important reason to have a home inspection when buying a home is it can help predict the future expenses.  If a home inspector indicates the roof or furnace is nearing the end of it’s life expectancy, it’s important you begin to budget for a new roof or furnace.  The home inspection is a great tool to help you create a future plan for expenses.

Home inspections can help determine where expenses for replacement or upgrades may arise in the future for many components, including:

  • Appliances
  • Windows
  • Roofing
  • Air Conditioning
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Heating Systems

There are programs available at local, state, and national levels that provide grant money and tax incentives for replacement for many of the above components in a home.  Ask your Realtor about potential programs in your local area and state.

Home Inspections Allow For Negotiations On Price & Repairs

Home Inspections Allow For Negotiations On Price & Repairs

Price Negotiations

First and foremost, the purpose of the home inspection contingency is not to get a better price on a home because of minor issues found during the home inspection.  Buyer’s who use the home inspection as a time to renegotiate with a seller even though an issue was seen before making an offer is one of the biggest things a buyer can do that real estate agents hate (and sellers).

If there are some major problems that are discovered during the inspection however, it maybe appropriate to renegotiate the terms of the original accepted offer.  Depending on the type of financing and terms of the original contract, deficiencies from the home inspection can be used as a reason for a reduction in the price or a concession from the seller towards closing costs.

Negotiate Seller Repairs

The only person who can determine what home inspection findings that need to be corrected before moving forward, is the buyer.  Some buyer’s are scared away from a home relatively easily and others are not alarmed by even significant inspection findings.

After the home inspection is completed, you will have the opportunity to request repairs of the home owner.  The home owner will have the opportunity to agree to the repairs or disagree to the repairs.  Without a home inspection, you will not have the opportunity to request repairs from a seller.  This is another very important reason why having a home inspection when buying a home is strongly recommended.

Provides An “Out”

One of the biggest challenges that is faced during a real estate transaction is the home inspection phase.  Many transactions will not be able to move forward after a home inspection for various reasons.  The biggest reason a transaction doesn’t move forward is because a buyer and seller cannot agree on the repairs requested or the renegotiation’s from the inspection.

There are some circumstances where a buyer does not feel comfortable with the findings from the home inspection and will not proceed with the transaction, no matter what concessions and repairs are offered from a seller.  The home inspection, in most cases, provides an “out” for a buyer if they are not comfortable, which is another reason for having a home inspection when buying a home.  While it is rare that a buyer gets “cold feet” after an inspection, it does happen.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, having a home inspection is highly recommended when buying a home, for the many reasons listed above.  While a home inspector is not perfect and can miss issues during a home inspection, they are going to inspect the home in much more detail than you and your real estate agent did during your initial visit.

Just like you should interview a buyer’s agent when buying a home, you should contact potential home inspectors to ask them questions.  Some questions and things you should consider asking a home inspector include:

  • Do you have any special certifications?
  • Are you a member of ASHI?
  • Can you provide references or testimonials?
  • Can I be at the home inspection?
  • What does your inspection include?
  • Can you send me a sample of your inspection report?
  • How much do you charge?

Other Home Buying & Inspection Related Resources

Are you buying a home in Rochester, NY?  As you can see it’s highly recommended you have a home inspection when buying a home.  If you have the need for a top quality home inspection company in Rochester, NY, contact me, and I’d be happy to provide you with several top quality home inspectors.  If you’re unsure how the home buying process and home inspection process works, I’d love the opportunity to share my expertise and knowledge with you.

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About the authors:  The above article “Top 10 Reasons To Have A Home Inspection When Buying A Home” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock).  With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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