Are Home Inspections Really Necessary?

If you’re in the market to purchase a home, at some point your real estate agent will probably recommend that you obtain a home inspection. Prospective buyers usually might make an offer contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection. The home inspection is viewed as a possible “deal maker” or “deal breaker”, depending upon the results.

Many prospective buyers are tempted to skip this step, particularly if the home they’re considering is newer or has been renovated recently. They might wonder if a home inspection is really necessary, given the appearance of a seemingly well-maintained house and yard.

The short answer is that yes, a home inspection should be performed any time you’re considering a home purchase.

Even when a home appears “move-in ready”, looks can be deceiving. A professional home inspector might uncover potentially expensive or even dangerous problems with the structure’s electrical wiring, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, insulation, and more. Discovering these problems before the closing date could save you from the burden of costly repairs, or even buyer’s remorse after the close of escrow.

However, there’s another very important reason to conduct a home inspection: If the report does uncover significant problems with the home, but you feel up to the challenge of repairing them, you now possess a valuable bargaining tool. By pointing out the cost of necessary repairs, you might be able to negotiate a lower price on the home of your dreams (or, at least, a house that will become the home of your dreams).

It is important to remember that a home inspection will uncover structural and systemic problems, but you should  consider conducting a separate termite inspection. Depending upon your geographic area, radon testing (for a radioactive, gaseous waste product) might also be recommended as well as asbestos. Also, some home inspectors will perform tests on the structure’s well water, gas tank, and septic tank, but some do not. If the house you are thinking of buying has a pool make sure you also have a professional inspect it as well as all the pool equipment. Make sure to ask whether these services are included, or can be added to the overall inspection process.

A home is often the most significant investment that many of us ever make. Fully investigating every aspect of your decision to purchase can prove to be vitally important not only during the negotiation process but also after you’ve made the purchase. 

So make sure before you sign those loan documents that you’ve satisfied yourself that the property’s condition meets with your approval. For more details on home inspections and the home purchase process, contact our real estate attorneys. We can help you evaluate every aspect of this life-changing decision.

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