Why Have A Home Inspection? Do You Really Need One?
When you decide to buy a new home, there are many decisions to make. How much do you want to spend? Where do you want to live? What style of house do you want? What amenities do you need or want to have? Those are often the slightly easier decisions to make. The fun decisions come down to upgrades, features, and other items in a home like a remodeled kitchen, layout styles, outdoor features, etc.
Some of the more “daunting” and harder decisions are which Realtor to work with, which lender you should choose, compromising on features/styles with your significant other, and picking a home inspector or if you should even have a home inspection at all.
I get asked this frequently. “Should I have a home inspection? Is it really needed? My answer is almost always, yes! Having a home inspection is an important part of buying a used home. All homes have hundreds of items and mechanicals in them that will need to be checked and the more information you have about them, the better. For a few hundred dollars, a home inspector will walk you through your new home, they will check items like the age of the water heater, tell you the approximate time left on your roof, let you know if they notice any serious problems or defects. They’ll also let you know if the electrical appears to be correct, if the outlets are grounded or have proper GFCIs. A home inspector can also find and look for little things like a broken seal in the window, missing sashes and a door that doesn’t open or close properly. They can check for gas leaks, gutters, moisture build-up and more.
Home inspectors can also help you determine if repaired items were done properly. Often times home owners make their own handyman repairs around the house while living there. They’re not always done correctly or by code. Some of the most important things to inspect are the electrical system, ventilation, support beams, water run-off/drainage, insulation and grade to name a few.
Most all of the things mentioned above can be fixed easily but without the knowledge of them needing fixed, they can lead to future problems, energy loss and more.
It’s a good idea to have a professional, experienced home inspector walk through your home and check it out from the front to the back, top to bottom. You’ll also learn a lot about your new home! You’ll learn shut off valve locations, how to operate or clean some of the mechanicals, recommendations for up-keep and more.
I’ve attended hundreds of home inspections. I usually learn something new with each one. Each house is different and each situation is unique. In Northeast, Ohio we have many older homes. In the Cleveland area, it’s not uncommon for homes to be 100 year old or more. If you were buying a used car or an older one, you’d likely have it professionally looked at before purchasing it. The same applies to a home.
So what if the home inspector finds flaws or work needed? Typically unless previously stated on the purchase agreement, repairs needed are negotiable. The home buyer and seller have the opportunity to come to an agreement on work needed, estimates and/or value determination. There are many ways to deal with repairs. Home sellers can credit the buyer, do the work themselves, have a contractor make all necessary repairs, put funds in escrow crediting the buyer for work needed or the buyer can purchase the home As-Is.
Having a good, experienced Realtor on your side assisting you with this stage is crucial. A good agent can determine the worth of credits/repairs based on the home’s final value. An agent helping you during this stage is invaluable. Of course then comes the possible FHA/VA inspection, appraisal stage, re-inspection, etc. Can’t stress enough the importance of using a professional to handle all aspects of buying or selling a home.
I have worked with many home inspectors. Here are home inspectors that I recommend in the Cleveland, Ohio area:
Steve Ballasch – 440-871-9337 (I’ve used him for over a decade. Great home inspector.)