Buying a home is a very competitive process, sometimes resulting in making offers and waiving the home inspection contingency. However, homebuyers can reserve the right to conduct an inspection to gather information while assuring the seller they will not hold them responsible for repairs.
Therefore, most homebuyers should never forgo the home inspection, even when waiving the home inspection contingency.
Primary Goal and Cost of a Home Inspection
The primary goal of a home inspection is to provide you with the information you may require to make a more informed purchase decision. An inspector examines a house to reveal any significant flaws impacting its safety and livability. These flaws may include electrical work, plumbing, water, heating, and cooling systems, structural defects, and other safety issues.
The average cost of a home inspection ranges between $300 to $500.
- If your offer to buy the home does not waive the home inspection contingency and you do not have the home inspected, you risk paying for repairs that could be negotiated with the seller.
- However, if your offer waives the home inspection contingency, and you have the home inspected for informational purposes, you know from the beginning the expenses you are likely to incur for repairs.
Home Inspection Exposes Safety Problems
A home inspection uncovers safety issues you may be unable to discover when you first walk through a property. Some issues include carbon monoxide poisoning, slippery bathroom surfaces, lead paint, exposed asbestos, and mold.
An experienced inspector can identify even the slightest problem with a home. However, some identified issues may be insignificant, while others may be adverse safety problems.
Home Inspection Provides a Way Out of the Purchase Contract in Some Cases
A quality home inspection unveils a home’s condition. However, after receiving the inspector’s report, you may be uncomfortable with the results once you realize the cost of repairs and maintenance procedures you may need to do immediately or with time.
You may be able to agree with the seller on the repairs to be done, or you may decide to withdraw your offer to buy the home based on specified contingencies.
In such cases, a home inspection may provide an “out” if you’re uncomfortable with the issues highlighted in the inspection report.
Home Inspection Acts as a Bargaining Tool in Some Cases
In addition to offering useful information about a home’s condition, a home inspection can be a tool for negotiating the final selling price and other relevant costs if the home inspection contingency is not waived.
If serious issues are discovered by the inspection, you may request that the seller lower the selling price or make repairs before closing.
Home Inspection Identifies Structural Problems
Discovering structural issues is a primary reason for not forgoing the home inspection. Structural repairs can be very costly and often are the seller’s responsibility.
Some structural issues to be aware of include:
- Cracks in the chimney.
- Irregular gaps in doors and windows.
- Cracked windows.
- Roof leaks and a sagging roof.
- Foundation cracks.
- Sloping, cracking, or sagging floors.
- Difficult to open and close doors.
- Damp subfloor.
- Cracks on walls and ceilings.
While some issues can be identified through visual inspection, others may require testing. So, ensure the home inspection company you choose has highly trained inspectors who can determine if structural issues need to be inspected by a structural engineer.
Home Inspection Uncovers Pest and Insect Issues
Pests and insects can negatively affect a home. They can result in structural issues affecting the roof, foundation, and flooring, especially if it’s wood. Additionally, they can affect your furniture and clothes or even cause diseases.
According to a 2022 survey, 50% of the respondents revealed that their homes experienced structural damage due to pest infestation. Additionally, 22% said their fear of pest infestation is the spread of potential illness or bacteria.
There are various pests and insects, including termites, carpenter ants, and bedbugs, with signs and infestations your inspector can identify. Some home inspection companies can perform pest and insect inspections, while others may not. Therefore, ensure the company you select can ensure that the home you’re purchasing is free of pests and insects.
Home Inspection Gives You Peace of Mind
Undoubtedly, a home is among the biggest and most important purchases many people will make. The costs associated with purchasing a home can be extremely high. According to recent research by Realtor.com, the median house price in the U.S. is $375,000, depending on various factors like condition, age, location, etc.
One of the most significant reasons why you shouldn’t forego the home inspection is the peace of mind it provides.
Before spending your hard-earned money on buying a home, you may want the assurance that the home you’re purchasing is in good condition while avoiding costly repairs after moving. One of the best ways to achieve this is to have an experienced home inspector assess the interior and exterior of the property, giving you an in-depth report of the condition of the property.
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