You’ve found the one—the house with the double vanity, open floor plan and the great back deck for cookouts. The seller accepted your offer and you’re off, but there are still some important steps you’ll cover that are meant to protect you as the buyer.
One of the most important of those is the home inspection, which is an invaluable protection before you sign the final paperwork. The home inspection helps you ensure the home isn’t loaded with nasty surprises, such as a leaky roof or hidden fire damage, and lets you know what repairs you might need or want to make.
While some sales are contingent on satisfactory inspections, in most cases it’s an option that we highly recommend.
What Is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of the property and its integral systems, such as plumbing and HVAC. Home inspectors don’t dig into the walls or check every wire, but they do provide a comprehensive look at the structure from top to bottom, including the attic and basement.
They also check on systems external to the home, such as plumbing and sewer tie-ons or the septic system, if the home has one.
Among the issues home inspectors typically look for are:
- Signs of water or fire damage
- Mold or mildew stains or odors
- Moisture in the air or walls
- Deteriorated shingles and other roofing issues
- Problems with the electrical system
- Use of GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens
- Problems with the HVAC system
Most people who offer home inspection services have many years of training and experience in the field, so they can easily identify common issues that could cause big headaches. Our experts can recommend an inspector, but you can also find your own through the American Society of Home Inspectors.
You want to work with someone who is going to do a detailed job and identify every issue that might need your attention.
Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?
We already covered the fact the home inspection can steer you away from a property that’s a lemon in disguise or help prepare you for the repairs and improvements you’ll likely need to make.
Beyond that, issues identified by the inspector can give you leverage to negotiate the selling price down. However, it’s important to note the seller may reject your request and an inability to reach a satisfactory middle ground could mean the contract falls apart.
It’s also important to note an inspection may identify issues that could require repair before the sale because they mean the property doesn’t mean building codes. As frustrating as putting off the purchase or even losing the deal might be, just remember that either of those means you’re being protected from buying a house that comes with a nasty and potentially expensive surprise.
The experts at Journey Home Lending want to be your advocates, walking beside you through the home buying process and helping you find the financing that’s right for you. Give us a call today!
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