HOME INSPECTIONS: What are they and why are they beneficial?
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is done during the 10-day inspection period when you are under contract on your home. During this time, you as a buyer have the right to hire a licensed professional home inspector to come in and inspect the house. Your home inspector will look at everything. They will look at your roof, your foundation, your heating systems, plumbing systems, electrical systems, and even look at cosmetic defects throughout your home. They will compile a list of all of the good and the bad throughout the home and you will be able to use it further to enter a negotiation period with the seller to ask for either repairs or credits to fix things after you close.
A home inspection can often be intimidating for buyers. Many homebuyers go into the home inspection thinking that you will either pass or fail in the inspectors eyes, when in reality the inspectors job is to tell you everything that they can about the property, both good and bad. This is meant to educate you as a potential homeowner about the property that you are going to purchase and make sure that you can make well-informed decisions in the later negotiation stage and also just be knowledgeable about the home you are purchasing for the future.
Why are home inspections important?
As a new homeowner you want to make sure you know as much about the property that you own, and a home inspection is a great start to that. The inspector you hire will tell you everything about the home that you will purchase. They will tell you the ages of your roof, furnace, boiler, hot water tank, electrical system. They will also tell you if something should be replaced either immediately or in the near future. For instance, if your electrical system is from the 1940’s and is no longer up to code, your inspector will tell you that and that it should be upgraded to a coded electrical system. In another example, if your roof is 3 years old and the seller’s weren’t sure of the age of the roof, your inspector will make it aware that you have a recently new roof with life left in it for at least 20 years. Their job is to educate you as a new homeowner so that you are aware of all of the good and bad parts of your home.
They will also look for signs of water damage throughout the inside of the home. They will look under window frame and look for signs of wood rot and at any areas that have plumbing near by and check for leaks. Your inspector will also turn on all of the appliances to make sure they are working and they will test all of the drains throughout your home, like in your tub or sinks.
Your inspector will also inform you of how some things may work. Especially as a first time home buyer, you may not know how certain systems in your home work. For instance, you may not know how your specific heating system works in your home and your inspector will explain that to you. As a new homeowner, you can really take advantage of this home inspection to ask all of the questions about systems in your home that you may not be 100% sure on.
They will also explain if something needs regular maintenance done and can often tell if the current owners have continued that on-going maintenance throughout the home on items they may require it. Knowing that a home has had regular maintenance done on it is always a good sign for a new home owner. It means that the home that you are purchasing has been well taken care of.
So if you are a buyer going under contract on a home and aren’t sure whether or not to get a home inspection, do it. Home inspections will only benefit you as a buyer to make the most educated and well-informed decisions in any market place and as a new homeowner. You don’t want to end up purchasing a home to find out that your whole roof is about to collapse or that your foundation is sinking in. Take the time to ask questions, learn about the home you’re about to purchase, and become a well informed buyer with a home inspection.