Lenders don’t typically require a home inspection to qualify for a mortgage loan, but that doesn’t mean you should forego getting one. Home inspections are wise for numerous reasons. A home inspection is different than a home appraisal, which is typically required by lenders before approving a loan. An appraisal is an evaluation of the home’s worth based on its condition, the market, and the value of other properties surrounding the area. An inspection is an elective process, generally paid for by the home buyer, that will help the buyer understand the condition of the home. This provides valuable information to see if a buyer thinks it’s worth the risk of purchase. Real estate agents should factor in a due diligence period in an offer, allowing for time to renegotiate or back out of the contract should the results be unfavorable. Here are some important reasons to get a home inspection:
- Provides peace of mind – Buying a home isn’t a small decision, and there’s a lot of money that goes into that investment. Getting a home inspection will help you feel more confident in your purchase because you’ll know if there any necessary repairs you may have otherwise overlooked. You want to ensure the home you’re getting into is safe.
- Reveals safety issues and potential problems – Some issues lurk below the surface and aren’t noticeable to the untrained eye. An inspection can reveal any hazards that you may have missed. If there are mechanical, pest, or plumbing issues, an inspector will catch it. The inspection will also assess future problems, such as a roof that will need repair in the next few years, so you can determine upcoming costs if you get into that home.
- Determine if the house is structurally sound – Structural issues are costly and time consuming. These extensive repairs can be avoided with a thorough home inspection. An inspection will explain the structural issues so you can determine if they’re manageable for your situation.
- Provides ability to negotiate price – Often, a home inspection will come up with issues that may not be deal breakers, but definitely require some adjustment on the price or negotiation for the seller to repair. Common items include roof repairs or plumbing deficiencies. Once you get into a contract, the due diligence period is your time to ensure you’re confident in the purchase, and an inspection can help you renegotiate specific concerns that you didn’t know before the inspection took place.
- Enables you to back out of the contract – Your offer should be serious and an example of your commitment, but if an inspection comes back with major repairs that you cannot afford or don’t want to tackle, this is your chance to get out of the contract without any penalties. The inspection protects the buyer and should be an honest examination of the home.
Here at InterWest Mortgage, we advise our buyers to get a proper home inspection before committing to such a large purchase. Protect yourself by making this investment up front.