Why Home Buyers Shouldn't Skip The Inspection
It's the little things that matter.
Almost one in four home buyers decides not to get a home inspection after they make a purchase offer on a home. This can cost you more than you possibly imagined. Here are four reasons to make that small investment, to avoid future frustration.
1. It's Important to Know What You're Getting Into
Even a fairly educated home buyer is going to discover some subjects related to homes about which they simply are not experts. You may know enough to test the appliances, plumbing and HVAC systems, but how do you know if the foundation is in good condition? Would you be able to spot common signs of termite infestation?
In addition, knowing a lot about one home does not always transfer fully to other properties. With a home inspection, you get the expert to go through everything and point out all the concerns in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand.
2. Even the Most Honest Sellers Don't Know Everything
The last thing that a home seller wants is for a buyer to come back after the sale is complete, complaining that they were sold a house under dishonest pretenses. Sellers are generally required to provide potential buyers with a seller's disclosure form, which identifies different structures and systems on the property, and the seller's knowledge of their condition.
If the seller is unsure, they are typically advised by their real estate agents to mark that they are not sure, instead of saying that they know there is not a problem. However, this disclosure is not anywhere near as comprehensive as a home inspection is designed to be. A lot of sellers could have problems with their homes that they had no idea existed. The trouble is that without a home inspection, the buyers may not have any idea, either.
3. You Can Look at the Home Through an Inspector's Eyes
Buying a home can seem almost romantic, the way you imagine yourself living in the space. The more houses you look at, the more you may begin to miss some common problems as you attempt to filter out the noise of wall colors and curtain patterns. Going with a home inspector to look at the home and asking good questions helps to retrain your brain. This way, you do not overlook structural and systems issues while you mentally plan out where to put your furniture.
4. Once the Sale Is Complete, You Are on the Hook for Repairs Whether You Inspected it or Not
Many states have so-called "lemon laws" on the books to prevent sneaky salespeople from selling things they know are in poor condition. The trouble is that there is no other standard format to ensure that the house listed for sale is ready to be occupied, outside of the home inspection. With or without the inspection, once you take ownership of the home, basically everything is now your responsibility. If you do not get a home inspection and you notice that something is terribly wrong after you move in, you have to pick from the following unsavory choices:
- Pay for the repairs on your own
- Try to prove that the seller knew about the problem and failed to disclose it
- Attempt to sell the home in its damaged condition
After buying the home, it might not matter if the seller knew about the problem or not, unless you can prove they deliberately tried to conceal it from you. In the end, it could cost you just as much to take them to court as it would to fork out for the fixes yourself.
Saving money on a home is a worthwhile consideration, but not at the expense of your future. Get a home inspection to protect your investment, time and sanity.