Look at that – I answered your Google search right up front. And I mean it: a home inspection is a valuable part of the home buying process, even if it’s not always a requirement to get a mortgage.
If these walls could talk
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll agree that buying a home is overwhelming. And, if you’re really like me, you’re also not a contractor, an architect, or a home inspector (though if you are, you probably don’t need to be reading this in the first place, unless you’re seeking some self-validation).
That’s why a home inspection is so important. A licensed inspector is trained to find the things you might not. While you’re ooh-ing and ahh-ing over those hardwood floors, you might be ignoring the termite damage in the beams below them. Likewise, are you looking at a room and thinking about where you’re going to put the TV? It will be nice to know how the outlets are wired (if they are at all). I mention that last point from experience – when I bought my house, none of my basement outlets were installed correctly.
Remember you’re putting a roof over your head
Homeownership comes with many costs, and maintenance is a big one. A home inspector will analyze different parts of the house and give you an estimate on when you may need to make repairs or replacements.
While it’s best practice to tag along and take notes if you can, you’ll receive a detailed report of the findings once it’s complete. This report will show you what you should prioritize first. Maybe it’s the water heater in five years, the roof in fifteen, or maybe it’s just a recommendation to clear plants away from your foundation.
It might bug you if you don’t
Yes, this header is a pun, and I will not apologize for it. Because the fact is, that termite damage your inspector noticed can lead to costly repairs. And even little things like clearing the shrubs away from your foundation can deter pests from entering your home.
You could save money by spending it
In the grand scheme of mortgage costs, home inspections are cheap. They typically start as low as $500. That $500 can pay for itself, though, if it means you have a report stating the roof needs repairs right away.
That’s because in most cases, you can leverage your inspection report for discounts on your offer – or even to force the sellers to make much-needed structural repairs.
Know when to walk away
Finally, a home inspection is one of your last chances to back out of your purchase. Whether they find flood damage, a structural problem, or anything else, this is an opportunity to plan for your future whether you purchase your home or not. And that’s important, because once you’re locked into the contact and sign your paperwork, it’s all on you.
Still have questions? Stop by your local office and speak with one of our mortgage experts. We’ll help you figure out your next step.