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First Time Homebuyer – Home Inspection Pros & Cons

Are home inspections necessary?

Home inspections are often a crucial part of the home buying process, but are they necessary?

For starters, what is a home inspection? Home inspections are conducted before the closing of a property. If you choose to get a home inspection, it is certainly a good idea to look into an inspector who is qualified and thorough.

What do inspectors look for during a walk through? Inspectors will be looking for a few things such as: determining the functionality and efficiency of plumbing, electrical units, heating and cooling systems, appliances, structural stability, roofing, foundation, etc. Essentially, they serve to make sure that the basic foundation and construction of a home are appropriate, and everything is up to code.

Is a home inspection necessary? What are the cons? Home inspections are not legally required in the sale of a home, and therefore may seem tedious for homebuyers. Additionally, you are required to pay for the home inspector to conduct an evaluation. The cost of a walk through may vary based on how big the home is, where you are located, and the specific rates of the home inspector. If you do choose to get a home inspected, do your research or get a recommendation for a reputable inspector. Some homebuyers hire contractors to do the job instead of traditional home inspectors, however, they are usually not as well versed in recognizing major issues as inspectors are. The major con of a home inspection is undoubtedly the price. They can be relatively costly, usually ranging from $300 to $500.

How long does a home inspection take? Ultimately, this is contingent on a few factors, and a specific time frame cannot be given. The length of time will depend on the size, condition and age of the home. Keep in mind a qualified inspector will be analyzing nearly all systems of the home, and naturally, this can be a time-consuming job. However, a ballpark time frame usually entails anywhere from two to four hours.

If it’s not required, why should I get a home inspection? Homebuyers may be asking themselves this question, especially considering buying a home can be costly when factoring in all the additional fees.

Buying a home is usually the largest investment a person will ever make.  Many people see the home inspection process as another component of a greater investment. Home inspections make it possible to potentially negotiate repairs and fixes with the home seller. Often times, home sellers will be inclined to fix certain issues in order to ensure the sale goes through.

If you get a home inspection that reveals severe damage, or a potential for major issues down the road, you have a few options. The biggest incentive for getting a home inspection is to guarantee that a property does not have any current problems. Home inspections can be beneficial in this regard, as certain issues may be extremely detrimental to a home’s functionality. It’s also important to note that home inspections can help determine if a system may fail down the road. If you choose not to get an inspection, and are faced with a major issue after the sale, naturally, you will be responsible for the fix.

However, if these problems are discovered during the inspection process, there are a few courses of action available to you. You can:

  • Negotiate the overall asking price with the seller.
  • Request that the seller fix the issues before you move in/close the sale; or
  • Revoke your offer entirely.

As a buyer, you have the freedom to even request that a seller fix all major issues as a part of your contract. You may find sellers to be quite flexible in this area, as they are likely to run into the same issue with other buyers who conduct inspections if they choose to refuse to fix issues.

At the same time, be realistic.  Most home inspections will usually reveal small problems here and there. Finding a home without any problems is extremely rare. Ultimately, you will have to use your own discretion once you are presented with the facts. This is why working with a reputable home inspector is so important.

How do I find a home inspector? Getting a recommendation is probably the most effective way to ensure you get a credible home inspector. Start by asking your real estate agent or Citywide Loan Officer.

Now that you have all the facts, is getting a home inspection worth it? In most cases, it is recommended that you do so. Your home is your biggest investment, and like any major purchase it’s better to be fully aware of any potential challenges you may be presented with. While home inspections can be costly, repairing a major issue down the road may be exponentially more expensive. Keep in mind, older homes are more susceptible to wear and tear. If the home is relatively new, the decision to forgo an inspection makes more sense. Be mindful of your specific situation, and what the best course of action is for you.


Do I Really Need to Get a Home Inspection?