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Buyer Questions: Should I Get A Home Inspection?

Buyer Questions: Should I Get A Home Inspection?

🕵 Should I Get A Home Inspection?

The question of whether to get a home inspection or not pops up regularly in conversations about real estate. Rewind the RE memory a decade ago, when the market was hot; buyers dared not ask for a home inspection. When they were in competition with 5 other offers, they had better offer more than the list price. Unfortunately, they had to consider foregoing as many contingencies as they could feel comfortable with. In some markets today, the same conditions are causing buyers to ask the question again: Should I get a home inspection?

should i get a home inspection?

A home inspection is your right, and is always a good idea, even in new construction.

Buying a home is usually the largest financial investment most of us make in our lives.  As with any purchase, no matter how large or small, it is important to know what you are buying before you buy it.

Getting a home inspection is an out of pocket expense for the buyer. (usually between $300 and $500 on average.) Most real estate agents will encourage buyers to get a home inspection. Let me relay a couple of stories to illustrate why:

🛀 A.   Falling Bathtubs

The buyer’s had ratified an offer on a newly constructed townhouse, with the help of a buyer’s agent. Fortunately the buyers listened to the agent’s advice and had a home inspection contingency written in the offer.

The buyers were sitting in the living room with the inspector as he was finishing up with the last details of the report.  They were jolted out of their metal folding chairs with the sound of a series of loud crashes and clangs  from the garage. They all rushed into the garage to see the jacuzzi tub from the master bath sitting on the garage floor amongst the wet drywall rubble.  With mouths gaping open, they raised their wondering gaze to the huge hole in the ceiling.home inspection

As it turned out, the plumber had neglected to attach the drainage pipe from the tub to the main in the wall. When the inspector filled the tub, then unplugged it, all that water drained into the floor and drywall. One hour later, the floor gave way. Who would have suspected it in a brand new house? It doesn’t matter whether the house is 100 years old or brand new, Human Error is always possible.

🔌 B.  Fixing the Fix of the Fix

I spent three hours with a first-time buyer and a home inspector in an historic home. This is one of my favorite inspection opportunities…I learn so much. The home had over  $50,000 in renovations, all beautifully done. When examining the electrical system, we discovered that because a series of fixes had been done by different electricians over the years, the electrical wiring do i need a home inspectionwasn’t even grounded. Keep in mind, all the electrical work was done by a licensed contractor. He had just missed the fix of a previous fix which altered what had originally been a grounding line.

Who would have suspected a licensed electrician would have missed it? Sometimes a contractor is focused on the task at hand, not necessarily looking at the previous job. Again, Human Error.

The cost of a home inspection can be anywhere between $350 and $500 on the average house. However, it is so worth it when you find something major. If you discover something that you just can’t live with, ie. a sinking foundation, the inspection is the contingency that gets you out of having to buy the home. It gets you off the hook, and gets your deposit back. If you still want the house, you can negotiate with the seller to address the issue.

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🔍 The Home Inspection – It’s Just Good To Knowshould I get a home inspection

Most importantly, a home inspection is worth the peace of mind. I would also point out that it’s worth it even when you don’t find something major. Hiring a licensed professional to go over your future home with a fine-toothed comb is well worth the cost. The inspector will teach you all about the inward workings of your home.

Know What You Are Buying. A house is a huge purchase; it is really best to know what you are getting. A thorough home inspection with a recommended inspector will educate the home buyer about all of the systems in the home. Understanding the systems and physical aspects of your home is important for a homeowner. In addition, you’ll get an idea of what you will face in the aspect of future expenditures.

A reputable home inspector with updated knowledge will help a buyer understand how these systems work, how they should be maintained, and even give a realistic expectation of the life of the present items and when to plan for repairs and replacements. It helps to have a working knowledge of the bricks and sticks of your home.

Should I get a home inspection? The home inspection is your safety net. If at all possible, write that contingency in to the purchase offer. At worst, you’ll give yourself an out. At best, you’ll give yourself peace of mind. Most of all, it will be an important education. Understanding the systems of your home will equip you to take the best care of your number one financial investment.

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💯 A Home Inspection is Widely Advised

  • In his article Tips for Buying A New Construction Home, Cincinatti real estate agent Paul Sian gives an excellent tip to new home buyers:  “Many builders will give a one year warranty on new construction homes, so it is a good idea during the 11th month after moving into your new home to have a home inspector come out and look over the home again.” If the home inspection reveals anything that needs attention, it will most likely be under the builder’s warranty.
  • In this article, Seven Things Your Home Inspector Wishes You Knew, author Jamie Wiebe wisely points out to buyers that anything can be fixed. While some things may sound scary, especially after so many news reports, there is a solution for every problem. All items are negotiable after the home inspection report, if that’s what a buyer chooses. Incidentally, the only issue that might be worth stressing about is a water issue, and the only stress should be that the issue is dealt with before settling on the house...
  • Bill Gassett, Metrowest Mass real estate agent, gives some sound advice to home buyers who are asking, should I get a home inspection?  “…the purpose of the home inspection contingency is not to get a better price on a home because of minor issues found during the home inspection…this is one of the biggest things a buyer can do that real estate agents hate” (btw, sellers don’t like it much either). Depending on the type of financing and terms of the contract, major deficiencies found during the home inspection may be used as a reason for a reduction in the price or a concession from the seller towards closing costs, if the buyer decides that course of action. Be sure to check out Bill’s extensive article: How to Negotiate a Home Inspection..
  • Seven Important Things to Look for When Viewing a Home is a great resource for home buyers. Kyle Hiscock, Rochester Real Estate Agent, lists the seven most costly system fixes in a home. These are items that buyers need to watch out for when they are considering a home for purchase..
  • And finally, here is some Real Home Inspection Advice from a Real Home Inspector. Mike Chamberlain, owner of MC2 Home Inspections LLC, explains in great detail what a home inspector is ACTUALLY required to do during a home inspection. This is according to the standards of practice from the largest home inspection organization in the world, InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors). This will be an excellent resource if you’re a buyer asking the question, Should I Get A Home Inspection?

📝The Home Inspection Contingency is Your Negotiating Tool

As an issue of negotiating, the home inspection is very important.  First, when a buyer writes an offer with a home inspection contingency, and the offer is accepted, that contingency will be their way out of the transaction if the home inspection reveals issues in the house that are just too much work, or too much money for the buyer to swallow. Without that contingency, it may be difficult to back out of the deal.

That being said, we’re not advocating that buyers should be ready to back out of contracted agreements at every whim, or be nervous about every deal. The object of the process is to buy a house, not to just dip the toe in the water.

Secondly, the home inspection can reveal issues that the buyer may want to negotiate with the seller to repair. When negotiating after a home inspection, buyers will want to have a good buyers agent on their side, representing their best interests.

*In the case of a foreclosure, the home inspection will most likely be “for informational purposes only”. The bank will usually not perform any repairs or replacements, with the acception of major mold problems.

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💼 Real Estate Agents in Central Maryland

If you are ready for a home purchase in central Maryland, give us a call. We offer buyer representation and sound advice about today’s Central Maryland real estate market. Feel free to contact us for our pick of superior local home inspectors.

Contact us for our list of reputable Real Estate Professional Services. Use our Property Search to find your new Frederick Home:

Search for Homes in Central Maryland

Chris Highland  with eXp Realty


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Buyer's Question: Should I Get A Home Inspection?
Article Name
Buyer's Question: Should I Get A Home Inspection?
The question of whether to get a home inspection or not pops up regularly in conversations about real estate. Most real estate agents will encourage buyers to get a home inspection. Let me relay a couple of stories to illustrate why:
Chris Highland with eXp Realty

5 Responses to Buyer Questions: Should I Get A Home Inspection?

  1. For me, regular home inspection is necessary. It will make us sure that everything in the house is functioning well and no underlying issues.

  2. […] Buyer Questions: Should I Get a Home Inspection?: Chris and Karen Highland Tips for Buying a New Construction Home: Paul Sian How to Negotiate Issues After a Home Inspection: Bill Gassett Home Inspections: The Buyer’s Advantage Before Reaching the Closing Table: Debbie Drummond Don’t Forget a Home Inspection with a New Construction Home: RISMedia What Does a Home Inspection Cost?: EC Home Inspection […]

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