“Before you buy a home, one of the things you should do is to have it checked out by a professional home inspector. Yes, we can hear your objection: “Buying a home is expensive enough as it is! Why would I choose to fork over hundreds more if I’m not required to?” In this article, we’ll delve into what a home inspection can reveal and whether it’s worth the investment.
The Home Inspection Contingency
Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for a buyer to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. Your first clue that a home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your contract with the seller. This contingency provides that if significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, you can back out of your purchase offer, free of penalty, within a certain timeframe. The potential problems a home can have must be pretty serious if they could allow you to walk away from such a significant contract.
In some situations, realtors are also known to include home inspection clauses in contracts, such as those for a newly built residence. In new home construction, inspections generally cover:
- Foundations: Checking before the concrete is poured (once poured, there’s very little that can be corrected).
- Pre-drywall: Checking the structure and mechanics before the drywall is laid.
- Full inspection: A full walk-through is performed of the completed home.”
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While this is an American article, the content and advice it contains is valid. Proceeding with a home purchase without an independent inspection is not a smart move. Your inspector may find nothing of significance or they may find all sorts of things that you had not considered. Many items uncovered may not need immediate attention, others may put you in a bargaining position for a price reduction or other consideration.
If you are a seller, an inspection before putting your home on the market could equally be a good investment as things you might be unaware of might be uncovered and you can eliminate any surprises at negotiating time when a buyer has an inspection done.