Don’t Skip a Buyers Home Inspection as a Buyer

August 5, 2021
Last updated:
September 21, 2021
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Pre-purchase inspections look at the home’s physical structure to see if there are any major defects that need to be addressed or repairs that need to be made. Thus, it is an important part of the homeownership journey and a step that you should opt for as a buyer.

A home inspection is paramount for prospective homeowners because you should always know the condition of the home you are planning on purchasing. While an inspection cannot reveal 100% of all the issues, it can give the buyer a pretty good picture of the state of the home, as well as some negotiating power. Thus, it is crucial to get your future home inspected before you sign the purchase contract and at the latest before you close.

Moreover, it is in your best interest to attend the inspection. Of course, being present during the inspection may be easier said than done. So, if you think you won’t be able to attend the inspection, you should make sure you bring this up with your real estate agent ahead of time. Nevertheless, before you can plan for the big day, let’s go over what buyers at home inspection should expect and why you should always opt for one.

What Does A Home Inspection Entail?

As you are likely aware, In the process of closing on a home, the buyer will hire a home inspector to perform a visual observation and check out the overall condition of the home. Typically, according to the state’s standards, an inspector will identify health, safety, or major structural issues during the home inspection process.

There are two types of property inspections in a home sale: a buyer’s and a seller’s (or a pre-listing inspection). A buyer’s inspection occurs after the buyer has made an offer on the home but before closing the sale. After a home inspection, the buyer may renegotiate their offer or request repairs if certain issues come up.

A standard home inspection generally takes a few hours for an average-sized house. The inspection report does take about 3 to 4 days to complete. During the inspection itself, the home inspector will go through the house and record any serious issues. The inspection also covers the home’s exterior. Home inspectors do have a long, thorough list of things to inspect in the home. But, in general, an inspector’s job is to find defects/related safety concerns. Nevertheless, there are a few main things that fail a home inspection more often than not:

  • Present Water Damage
  • Structural Issues
  • Foundation Defects
  • An Old Roof/Damaged Roof
  • Damaged Electrical Panel/Systems
  • Plumbing Problems
  • Insect and Pest Infestation
  • Issues with the HVAC System/HVAC Components

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but rather just a few major issues/ possible defects that are at the top of practically every buyer home inspection checklist. And it is important to keep in mind that the inspection process generally does not include thorough testing for mold, radon, asbestos, lead, pests, fireplaces, and pitched roofs.

How Do You Choose The Right Inspector?

Now that you have a better idea of what the home inspection process entails, you are probably wondering how to choose the right inspector, especially if you are a first time home buyer. Well, the good news is that a buyer’s agent or realtor will most likely have a shortlist of inspectors or professionals that they can recommend. You can also take it a step further and make sure your home inspector has the following:

  • Qualifications
  • Sample Reports
  • References
  • Errors & Omission Insurance

Remember, it is still important to do your homework when it comes to home inspectors. So make sure you ask questions and compare costs/prices to ensure that you are hiring the right people.

Why Should You Always Opt For A Home Inspection?

As suggested, home inspections provide an opportunity to identify any issues (usually major ones) prior to closing. That said, your first clue that a home inspection is not just a formality is that the reported findings can be used as a contingency in your contract with the sellers. In other words, if significant defects are revealed during a home inspection, then you may be able to back out of the sale, penalty-free, within a certain timeframe. Note, the potential problems need to be serious in nature, i.e., not minor repairs, if you are going to use them as grounds to walk away from the purchase. If the inspection report reveals a number of minor problems, there is still an opportunity to negotiate with the sellers— for a better price, repair costs, and more.

In addition to providing a possible out for a buyer, home inspections offer peace of mind by confirming that your future home is safe. What’s more, a quality inspection can reveal illegal additions or installations, faulty construction, determine deal breakers, give you an idea of future maintenance costs, reveal the bigger picture, and help you secure home insurance. So suffice it to say a home inspection offers you protection and is therefore pretty necessary. This is especially true if you are purchasing a home “as is,” a foreclosed property, or a house via short sale.

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Are There Any Home Inspection Tips For Buyers To Keep In Mind?

Overall, a home inspection will cost you a little bit of time and money, but in the long run, you will not regret it. Not only does a home inspection reveal any possible problems that the seller may fix before you move in, but it also can prevent you from inadvertently buying a money pit. Likewise, an inspection is an imperative part of the home buying process for a newly constructed/built home. So, if you are purchasing a recently built/new home or building your dream home from scratch, do not skip a home inspection. Finally, if you are a first time home buyer, an inspection can be a crash course in home maintenance and provide you with a much-needed checklist of items that may need your attention. Ultimately, whatever the situation, addressing issues early through a home inspection can save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road—so there is that.

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Ready To Start The Home Buying Process?

Are you curious about the mortgage process, thinking about buying a home, or do you have questions about an upcoming home inspection? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington, serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We offer many mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest and have been doing so since 1992. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.

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