Home inspection services are essential for those contemplating a new home purchase and mandatory for most financing options, such as traditional mortgages, FHA loans, and VA loans.
A home inspection helps buyers and lenders determine if a home is in adequate condition by examining key components, such as the plumbing and electrical systems, the foundation, the attic, the heating and air conditioning systems, and the windows and doors. Coupled with buyer education regarding other home features and an appraisal, the service can help determine if a home is the right purchase at the right price.
Why a home inspection is important
There are many components of a home that the average buyer may not want to get up close and personal with, such as a crawl space where plumbing and electrical components are housed. Buyers are also not always experts in the nuances of window framing, door requirements, and support walls. A home inspector gives each of these areas and more a physical examination and reports back with both positive and negative information the buyer can use to make an educated, confident purchase decision.
How to choose a home inspector
Home inspectors are licensed through a state board, and many states maintain a database of licensed inspectors easily sorted by county or zip code. Real estate agents and local lenders also keep lists of credible local home inspectors. Choosing a licensed inspector ensures potential buyers receive the highest quality report and information possible. When a lender requires a home inspection, the use of a fully licensed inspector is necessary.
When to contact an inspector
After a purchase agreement is completed and signed, it's time for the professional inspection. Before signing any paperwork, review it for a clause stating the contract is dependent upon the outcome of a home inspection and specifies any items that are contract dealbreakers, such as electrical system problems or foundation weaknesses.
Clauses can also stipulate the buyer has the ability to alter the offer price based on any deficiencies identified in the inspection. For example, a buyer may reduce an offer by $5,000 to partially cover the costs of updating substandard plumbing or upgrading an electrical system.
Limits of a home inspection
A high-quality home inspector is a valuable resource, but they are only one of many different professionals consulted when buying a home. In addition to a home inspection, buyers may need an independent appraisal, an inspection for building code compliance, as well as evaluations for any insurance, warranties, or guarantees.
Contact a local home inspection service to learn more.
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