Why Should You Hire an Inspector When Buying a Home?
By Meghan Belnap
There are many practical reasons why having a professional inspection conducted is critical prior to purchasing a home, and hiring the right home inspector could end up saving you a lot of money and hassle down the road.
Here are some of the main reasons why you should have an inspection done when looking at buying a new home:
Accurate Home Valuation
The price that a home is listed at is not always the true market value. Whether the listed price is too high or too low, you'll want to know what exactly you're negotiating for to get the fairest deal. Even if the homeowner had the property evaluated in the past, property values can change over the years based on a variety of factors, including the quality of the home itself and any additions or changes made. Unless you feel completely confident that the price listed by the seller is an accurate and updated estimate based on a professional evaluation, you should have your own evaluation done before buying the property.
Hidden Flaw Discovery
Not all flaws in a home are easy to spot by the untrained eye, and an experienced home inspector can look for problems that could cost you later. Small cracks in walls and surfaces and problems with pipes and other plumbing components can be looked for during the inspection. If the home has a crawlspace, the inspector can also check its condition and inform you of any problems. A trained inspector can also check the condition of a home's attic and foundation and look for signs of damage caused by termites or other pests. Even if you're certain of the price of the home for sale, it’' important to be aware of any potential issues that the home may come with that are contributing to a lower buy price.
Property Boundary Establishment
What you think are the property boundaries may not be the case. Simply looking at the size and layout of the house and yard isn't the best way to determine the property boundaries, and a knowledgeable home inspector can tell you exactly where the property begins and ends. Your property might be bigger or smaller than you thought, and knowing this information can help you establish agreements with the neighbors and possibly avoid conflicts. You'll also know exactly what you're liable for if damage occurs within or beyond your property line. After a property line has been officially established, you should mark it for future reference in case you want to build a fence or make changes to the home that may come close to that property line.
Appraisal vs. Inspection
While an appraisal is required by most mortgage lenders, it isn't the same as a home inspection. Home appraisals are focused primarily on the value of the home and property for the lender, not on the components and use to the buyer. This means that while an appraisal can tell you what the technical market value is for the home, you won't find out more in-depth details like the potential for infestation later in the year, or the condition of varying components. This means that if you want a thorough look at the home you're buying, you'll want to get an inspection done.
Hiring a home inspector will be one of the best decisions you make if you're in the market for a new home. The most qualified inspector can give you all the details that you need to either move forward with the sale or look elsewhere for a different home.