To buy a house? This could be the most important step in the process
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When buying a home, there is always the possibility that hidden expenses will arise. Some of these expenses may surprise you, but others less. For example, a roof with obvious damage is likely to cause short-term leaks, and that’s something that shouldn’t come as a shock.
But not all a home’s problems are as obvious as rows of dangling roof shingles. Sometimes property issues require a lot more digging to be discovered. And that’s where your home inspection comes in.
It is common practice to go through a home inspection as part of the purchase of a property. In fact, it’s common to include wording in a purchase contract that says your fence depends on whether the home in question passes its inspection or whether the seller is making any necessary repairs discovered during the inspection.
However, it is alarming that a growing number of buyers waive their home inspections given the state of the housing market. With mortgage rates low and limited housing stocks, it has become very difficult to find affordable housing. Some buyers, in an effort to give themselves an edge, skip the home inspection or tell sellers that the results of their inspection will not impact the sale. But it’s a huge mistake that you are likely to regret.
Why inspecting your home is so important
A home inspection could reveal issues with a property you never imagined existed. For example, an inspector could determine that a house is poorly wired and therefore at risk of fire. This is the kind of thing you want to know before you move in. Likewise, your home inspection might uncover mold damage that makes life in the home dangerous to your health.
In other words, a home inspection will not only reveal issues that could cost you money; he could discover problems that make the house you are looking to buy a real danger to you and your family. And that is why you should not, under any circumstances, agree to forgo a home inspection.
In fact, it’s a good idea to attend your home inspection so that you can ask questions throughout the process. Don’t worry about annoying your inspector, he’s used to having buyers.
If your inspector identifies problems with the home you are looking to buy, you will need to assess their seriousness. To this end, be prepared to ask your inspector:
- How much will it cost to fix this problem?
- How long will it take to fix this problem?
- Is the house habitable while the problem is being treated?
- What other issues might arise as a result of the issue you reported?
Remember that most homes do not pass inspections without incident. Unless the house is really brand new and in meticulous form, an inspector is likely to find at least a few minor issues, but not necessarily deal breakers. But don’t make the mistake of buying a home without understanding the issues that come with it. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself in affordably mortgage only to see those savings wiped out by a huge repair.