Why You Need to Get a General Home Inspection Before You Buy

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Think you found the right home for your family? Don't put down an offer yet. Learn why you need to get a general home inspection first.

You’ve spent months visiting home after home, looking for the one you’ll spend the rest of your life in. They were nice, but none had that special spark that screamed: “This is my dream home.” You were getting frustrated and wanted to give up, but you saw one final home and it was perfect in every way.

The Realtor knew the moment you entered it that this was the one. You’re tempted to sign on the dotted line and begin closing proceedings, but be careful. Who knows what’s lurking under those floorboards?

A general home inspection has become a standard part of the home buying process these days because it finds hidden faults and gives you leverage when buying. Check out the many benefits of getting a home inspection before you choose a home.

Find out Problems in the Home

The outside and inside of a home can look immaculate, but what’s lurking behind the walls, underneath the roof and inside the hidden nooks and crannies is another story. The owners of the home are happy to sell sight unseen, but it could cost you big time in the future.

Getting a home inspection can find all the major and minor problems a home has before you buy it. It’s almost guaranteed that an inspector finds something wrong with the home even if it’s something minor like chipped paint or stained carpeting in the basement.

They look at everything from plumbing and electrical to structural. They can determine if the basement has flooded, if the foundation is cracked or if the wiring needs to be replaced. Everything may look fine now, but in a few years or at the first major rainstorm, it can all change.

If you’ve already bought the home, then you’re stuck paying for it. A major repair can cost thousands of dollars, so find out all you can about the house before you buy it.

Get a General Home Inspection for New Construction

When you’re buying a newly constructed home, it’s tempting to skip the home inspection. It’s brand new, so there can’t be anything wrong, right? Sadly, this isn’t always the case.

Every contractor is different. Occasionally cutting corners to keep a house on budget isn’t all that uncommon. The house will look perfect on the surface, but they could be hiding cheap materials and shoddy HVAC work.

It may not even be the main contractor’s fault. Subcontractors can do cheap work to get more profit out of the job. Either way, it’s important to spend the money on a home inspection and alleviate any fears you might have.

Home Inspections Give You a Bargaining Tool

While the inspection may not provide any major revelations, even small issues can give you a little leverage when negotiating the price. Even if the home inspection found minor issues, bring them up to the owners.

You can use any issues as reasons to lower the asking price, or you could insist they fix the issues before any money changes hands. If there are larger issues, you can use them as a reason to walk away or threaten to walk away unless the price goes down.

Negotiation is a major part of buying a home. The owners want to get as much money as possible and you want to spend as little as possible. The more you have to negotiate with, the better chance you have of coming out on top.

If the owner is hesitant to fix the problems or lower the price, that could be a major red flag that something is wrong. It might be better to walk away then to invest in a money pit.

A Home Inspection Lets You Plan out the Future

Every home will eventually need repairs. The roof goes bad, the wiring gets old, and even the strongest foundation could have problems. A home inspection lets you see what’s likely to need work in the future.

The inspector tells you what the problems are and when they’ll need repairs. They’ll discuss with you what you need to worry about and how much the repairs will cost.

Knowledge is power, and a home is a major investment. You’ll pay on it for decades, so knowing about any possible future pitfalls lets you plan out a strategy.

The furnace may be fine now, but in five years it could need to be replaced. It’s best to know that now than have it break down in the middle of winter.

It Provides You with Peace of Mind

Buying a home is a big deal and it’s easy to get paranoid and scared at the thought of such a big investment. Many potential buyers walk away because they can't take that final step.

A home inspection gives you peace of mind that you’re purchasing a good house. If the inspection only comes up with minor problems, you can be confident that it could be years before you have to make a major repair.

This sense of peace and solace from a home inspection helps put your mind at ease and gives you the confidence needed to start the closing process.

Know When It’s Time to Move On

It may be the perfect house on the surface, but if the home inspection shows major problems such as termite infestation or structural problems, it might be time to move on to another house.

You’ll be out the money for the inspection, but it’s worth it if you end up avoiding buying a nightmare house. Trust the inspector. If they say there are major issues, bring them up with the Realtor and see about viewing a different house.

Never feel hurried to buy a home. High-pressure tactics can be a red flag. Take your time and see several houses before making a decision. If the inspection shows major problems, know that there are plenty more houses to look at.

Home Inspections Are a Must

Don’t judge a book by its cover and never judge a house by a simple walkthrough. A general home inspection has many benefits for the buyer and the seller, so never hesitate to order one. A home is an investment you’ll have to live with (literally), so make sure you make the right decision.

For more information about home inspections and buying a home, please explore our site.