A home inspection is an important part in the home buying process, however a common misconception is that it is a pass or fail type of inspection. Home inspectors do not pass or fail a home; instead they thoroughly inspect the property and provide buyers with a detailed report of any issues they see including potential safety concerns or even structural matters with the home.
A home inspection is a great way for buyers to learn more about a home and help plan for future upgrades and repairs. Sometimes home inspections may even uncover major issues with a home that would make a buyer decide the house is not right for them. A home inspection should not be used as a tool to intentionally re-negotiate the purchase price; but instead to know what to expect as a buyer. If a buyer notices that the roof of a home is older and needs replacing, this should be taken into account when making an offer, not after the home inspection as a means to bring the price down further. However, if there is a hidden issue that was uncovered at the home inspection, a price reduction may be warranted.
Every home has essential structural and mechanical components that should be evaluated on behalf of the buyer by a professional home inspector. A heating system is a great example of something in a home that could be in working order at the time of purchase, but be at the end of its serviceable life. The replacement cost of a heating system could lead to a significant, unexpected expense soon after moving in. A typical buyer will not be able to evaluate this on their own, but a professional home inspector could tell you how old the system is and how well it runs or even an estimated timeframe of a system’s remaining life. Many buyers have no problem replacing a heating system after they buy a home so long as they know in advance.
After an inspection it is important for a buyer to not get caught up on the “little things”. For example, a buyer and a seller could find themselves in a stalemate over a dishwasher not functioning properly. The buyer wants it replaced, and the seller refuses to do so. This can be frustrating for a buyer but a buyer should ask them self is it really worth walking away from the home you really want? Think of it this way, if the house you are buying is worth $300,000 is it worth it to back out over a $400 dishwasher; probably not especially if it is a seller’s market?
Buyers should also remember that it is an inspector’s job to find problems so it is a sure bet that they will find something wrong with every house they inspect. There is probably not a house in the world that doesn’t need some attention on something. Therefore buyers should try hard to not feel overwhelmed or disappointed as this is all part of homeownership.
We highly recommend buyers spend the money on a home inspection whenever possible. The report alone is very much worth the cost. Many homeowners will look back at their report years later as a reference for various issues.