It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a new home and forget to make the important decision to have a home inspection performed before you sign the contract.
Home inspections are an instrumental part of the home-buying process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Remember that a home appraisal and a home inspection are not the same thing. Appraisals will not provide you with a detailed look at a property that can help uncover deep-rooted problems and potential pitfalls.
Here are five great reasons to have a home inspection before you buy:
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
Especially for those buying newer construction, a home inspection may feel like a waste of money. No matter the age of the home, there can be costly troubles unknown to the average buyer. Problems with wiring, plumbing and easement may not be visible during a showing and you’ll want to get an expert opinion.
Home inspections generally cost from $300 to $500 depending on size and age of the home. That’s a good sum, but perhaps think of it this way: Those who skip out on the expense may realize in a few years that an inspection is much cheaper than rewiring the entire house.
One of the advantages of having a home inspection performed before you buy is the power it might give you to negotiate a lower price. If a home you’re really interested in is on the edge of your price range, information gathered during the home inspection may give you the bargaining power to talk down the price. You can also insert language into a purchase contract that allows you to back out of an agreement if the inspection turns up problems.
Not only are you able to negotiate a lower price, many buyers include clauses in their contract requiring the seller to make the repairs necessary before any money is exchanged. If the seller is unwilling to complete the repairs, estimate the cost and ask them to take that amount off the total. Solid facts about the quality and condition of the home can give you valuable bargaining power.
Know What You’re Buying
In the end the most important reason to have a home inspection before you buy is to really know what you’re buying. Research your potential home like you would any other major purchase. The more you know, the fewer surprises there will be down the road. Home inspectors can help you make a decision based on your current budget as well as your future time and money investment.