New home buyers sometimes resist the idea of getting a home inspection. After all, it costs extra money, and there is the uncomfortable possibility that something may be found that could put an end to the deal. But as much as you might resist getting a home inspection – whatever the reason – there are even more reasons why you should get one. Here are some of the more important ones…
To make sure you aren’t buying into a money pit
Just as it is with cars, sometimes a house can turn out to be a “lemon”. Buy the house, then shortly after, one component breaks down, followed by another, and still another. Before you know it, you’re spending thousands of dollars just to get the house into the kind of condition that should have been when you bought it in first place.
A detailed home inspection will let you know what repair work the property will need, and even more important, it you call your attention to any structural deficiencies. These are much more significant than broken windows, cracked siding, or lose shingles. It could be that there is a problem with the foundation, the walls, and even the support structure underneath the roof. These are big-time expenses, that you will want to know about before you close on house.
To get repairs done before closing
One of the most important reasons for identifying deficiencies in the property is that you can get them repaired by the seller before you close on the property. There will always be certain repairs that will not become obvious until after you’ve been living in the property for a while. But the ones that can be determined upfront need to be repaired.
When you are buying a house, you are buying it based on the fact that the house is structurally sound, ready for occupation, and safe. If any of these conditions are not met, they need to be remedied before you close on the house. And it is much easier to have the seller make repairs before closing – like before they have your money – than to go after them after the fact.
As a negotiation tool
One aspect of a home inspection that many buyers overlook is that it can be one of your best tools for negotiating the price of the house. Even if you have already settled on a price, deficiencies revealed by a home inspection can allow you to go back to the seller and negotiate a still better price. Each deficiency revealed in the home inspection is an opportunity to lower the price a little bit more.
In case you’re not good at home repairs yourself
If you are not good at home repairs yourself, then having a home inspection done is absolutely mandatory. If you have good home repair skills, a problem discovered after closing could be fixed inexpensively. But if you have no skills whatever, and have to bring in a contractor to perform the repair, you can be looking at real money.
Be honest with yourself about how much repair work you can handle, and if it’s on the low side of the spectrum, you need to get a home inspection.
To avoid being hit with major repair bills right after you move in
Typically, right after the closing is when homebuyers are financially most vulnerable. Your money is mostly tied up in the down payment on the house, as well as any closing costs that were not covered by the seller. You may have had other expenses related to the purchase, including moving expenses, redecorating, and buying certain appliances or pieces of furniture that you did not have before. All of these expenses will leave you with very little money after closing.
The last thing that you need when you are stretched tight is a surprise repair bill. Sometimes you discover it during heavy rain, powerful winds, or a major snowstorm. But however it comes out, it can be a real blow to your finances if you don’t have the money to repair it immediately.
A home inspection can greatly reduce the possibility of this happening. Even if you have to spend some money up front to get the inspection done, the peace of mind that you will have after closing will be worth far more.