Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. It will impact you on many fronts, from your personal finances to the school your children attend to your commute to and from work.
With so much on the line, it’s important that you understand exactly what you’re getting. And that’s where a home inspection can help.
A home inspection is just what it sounds like. You hire a professional to inspect your home, from top to bottom, all with the idea of pinpointing anything that’s not up to code or could cause you trouble in the future.
You’re not required by law to have a home inspection, but there are many reasons for doing so:
- To get a better idea of the condition of the property: You can only see so much when you’re viewing a home. You never know what you’re missing, and for that reason it’s critical to hire a home inspector. For example, they can inspect the roof and foundation, two areas that can result in serious problems if there’s something wrong.
- To save money: It’s your hope that the home inspection doesn’t turn up anything major, but you never know what your inspector could find. Should they find something that requires immediate attention, such as a roof leak or electrical issue, you can negotiate with the seller. This saves you money in the long run, because you may be able to get the seller to pay for the repair.
- To get out of the contract: If your home inspection turns up something so serious that you don’t want to proceed, you can walk away from the deal without any financial or legal implications. An example of this is a home that tests positive for mold or is found to contain asbestos.
You will make the final decision as to whether or not you opt for a home inspection, but it’s typically better to be safe than sorry. Don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best.
If a home inspection turns up major issues, consider your next move. It’s important that you always protect your finances and legal rights.