We have all heard the story, it usually starts out, “I bought a Problem.” Someone you know bought a house that has done nothing but cost them more and more money. They had to repair the roof, replace the AC and the foundation was uneven. Let’s just face it, sometimes it happens. When it does, it puts you in a risky financial position, you could bleed cash for months or longer if you have the available funds. So how do you protect yourself when it comes to buying a home? The best answer is a home inspection.
So just like used cars, unless you are having a home built, you are buying a property that someone else lived in and took responsibility for. You are not only subject to the quality of the home but also the quality of the decisions that the previous homeowner made with the maintenance and upkeep. Many times we see buyers make an emotional connection to a home, it looks perfect, it was exactly what they wanted, it was a bargain, it is more home than they thought they could afford, the school district is amazing, the reasons go on and on. Once that emotional connection is made, it is easy to overlook some imperfections. Just think about children. Some kids can do no wrong in the eyes of their parents, even though you can usually point out more than a few flaws after sitting next to them in a restaurant for an hour. The same is true for a home. So it is in your best interest to pay an experienced home inspector to thoroughly examine the home you want to purchase. Below are the top three reasons for a home inspection:
An inspector will spend several hours looking at all the details that you may miss. They are not going to look inside the walls and they are not going to find the root cause of every issue. What they are going to do is point out the things they find troublesome. Perhaps certain lights aren’t turning on, they may just need new light bulbs, or it could be a more serious and more expensive issue that has to do with the breaker box. Maybe the gutters don’t drain far enough away from the house, cheap fix, but gone unnoticed could cause mold or foundation problems. They are going to provide a report of all of their findings so that you have a detailed understanding of what needs to be investigated further to prevent costing you more in the future.
2.) FINANCIAL POSITIONING.
An inspection not only gives you a better understanding of what you may be spending money on in the near future, but it will also strengthen your position for re-negotiating. Many times the buyer and seller can come to a mutual agreement. The seller may be able and willing to cover some of the necessary repairs that the inspector recommends and will take care of them before you ever move in. In other cases, a list of concerns can help bring down the final price of the home. The seller may not want to deal with fixing a major issue with the roof so they may be willing to bring the cost of the home down $5,000 - $10,000 to compensate. Ultimately, an inspection makes you more prepared to make educated decisions about your future investment.
3.) THE POWER TO WALK AWAY.
You may have a strict budget of $150,000 to $200,000. If you know that’s what you are paying for the house and an inspector says it needs an additional $30,000 worth of repairs, what can or should you do? Well if you have had an inspection during your option period, which is what your agent should advise you to do, you can walk away from the transaction without penalty. Sure you may have paid the inspector $350; however, he just saved you $20,000 or more. You can move on smartly and start the search for another home.
Inspections are a pivotal part of protecting yourself and your investment. It is the best thing you can do, to make sure you are making a good decision. Use a veteran inspector with a TREC license and ask any questions you can think of, they are there for you. If you need a recommendation for a good inspector, please let us know and we can provide you with our top three recommendations.