Buying a home can be an exercise in frustration these days. You’ve had your heart set on home after home only to be outbid every single time. But this time, after months of disappointment, your bid is accepted, and you are over the moon. Your realtor or lender jolts you back to reality and suggests you get a home inspection to err on the safe side. But it took you long enough to get here and you don’t want to jeopardize the sale in any way. Is this a good move? Most industry experts say “no.” Skipping the home inspection is not a good idea because it may set you up for major repair responsibilities and expenses you had not anticipated later on. If you blindly take on what could essentially be a “money pit,” you’ll have no recourse. Any damages uncovered now can be used as a bargaining tool with the sellers when you negotiate. That’s why nearly 90% of American homeowners secure a professional inspection for any home they consider before sitting down at the closing table.
What Exactly Happens in a Home Inspection?
A licensed professional of your choice will perform a thorough visual inspection of the home from top to bottom. They will inspect the home inside and out, looking for anything that needs repair or replacement. Your inspector will examine the electrical systems, HVAC units, ventilation and plumbing. Most do not inspect inside walls for mold or drywall rot but can refer you to the proper professional if any damage is suspected. It is also advised that an inspection be performed on newly constructed homes to ensure all systems are functioning properly.
Why Is a Home Inspection Necessary?
A professional home inspection can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and also signal when it’s necessary to walk away from a problematic home. Many savvy homebuyers will use minor repair issues as a bargaining tool to get the seller to take care of them themselves or reduce the price of the home. Your realtor can include a paragraph in the offer letter that states you are under no obligation to buy the home if the replacement or repair costs exceed a certain amount.
How Long Does a Home Inspection Take, and What Does it Cost?
The home inspection time will vary depending on the size of the home. However, a 2,500-square-foot home should take an average of three hours to complete. A few days after the inspection, you and the seller will receive a complete report from your inspector detailing all findings, including specific safety issues, interior and exterior concerns and suggestions for repairs or replacements. It may also indicate items that are not an issue now but may become so in the near future. The cost of a home inspection will vary with the size of the home and from state to state. A small to average size home may cost anywhere from $250 to $500 and $1,000 plus for a larger home.
Where Can I Find a Great Home Inspector?
There are excellent home inspectors in every state. Your realtor or lender would be the best source to tap into for a recommendation. Regardless of the professional you choose, it’s important to verify all credentials and make sure they are certified and licensed with good reviews on home improvement sites like Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau at https://www.bbb.org/ to research if there are any complaints against a specific company.
About NP, Inc.
NP, Inc. is a top mortgage lender who has been helping countless borrowers achieve their dream of homeownership since 1996. Our professional loan specialists are available to help with your lending needs and more. Visit us today at https://usmtg.com/ to view our wide range of lending products and Non-QM loans. You can even fill out a loan application directly on our site.
By Susan Sherman for NP, Inc.