Why You Should Never Skip the Home Inspection

Why You Should Never Skip the Home Inspection

  • Roger Banning
  • 04/10/23

In the earlier, frenzied days of low interest rates and over-the-top demand, buyers competing for homes across the nation searched for ways to make their offers stand out. Tantalized by cheap loans and more space, a startling proportion of buyers elected to skip over a long-held mainstay in the homebuying process: the home inspection.

Unfortunately, an untold number of these eager buyers have already regretted waiving their rights to home inspection, as they now face expensive repairs that can come with their fair share of health and/or safety problems. Before adding yourself to the list of those with buyer’s remorse, consider how forsaking the home inspection can lead to trouble down the line.

Why get a home inspection?

A home inspection can help you to avert a host of issues that could be outright threatening to you and the integrity of your future home. An inspection will give you the essential information so you can make the appropriate fixes before moving in. Knowledge is power, of course, and if you know about the problems with a house before taking up residence in it, you might also have some more leniency with the financial burden of repairs.

Even if you’re a regular DIY-er who feels confident about fixing any home problem that might come your way, it’s still important to get an outside pair of trained eyes on your home before buying it. Inspectors have seen many more homes than you have, and they can spot problems both big and small.    

What does a home inspector do?

An inspector will complete a thorough examination of everything that’s attached to a home, including its interior and exterior components. A comprehensive inspection will analyze the home’s foundation, basement, doors, walls, windows, roof, electrical system, plumbing, attic, insulation, deck, and other structural components. 

The foundation of it all

The foundation is perhaps one of the least “glamorous” aspects of a home, and prospective homebuyers don’t often consider it a top priority. But the truth is that a weak foundation will affect multiple other aspects of your home. It’s unlikely that your home will suddenly collapse into a pile of dust from foundation issues, but cracks from a fragile base can cause water damage, mold, uneven flooring, and frustrations with the doors and windows. 

Certain geographic areas are more susceptible to foundation issues due to soil type. Local climate considerations, drainage issues, and poor structural design can also be precursors to an unstable foundation.

What’s inside those walls?

The first thing that prospective homebuyers usually notice is the color of the paint on the walls, but there’s much more going on behind-the-scenes that’s often taken for granted.

Inspectors who use infrared thermography are able to observe what can’t be seen on the surface. The infrared scan can detect changes in temperature that are red flags for major problems, ranging from a potentially overloaded electrical system to an issue with moisture seeping in from the roof.

Infrared technology can also help an inspector determine if there are any problems with the all-important HVAC system and allow the inspector to analyze the quantity and quality of insulation within the home. 

A flood from within

Even in a dry climate like Arizona, there’s still the looming potential that a home could flood from within its very own walls. If the pipes of your future home are loose or deteriorating, you could move in and eventually find yourself and your belongings knee-deep in water.  

Certain types of pipes are more likely to give way than others. In general, newer homes are safer from plumbing problems due to the higher quality of piping and less wear and tear overall. However, it’s still important to have them adequately inspected.

Putting a brave foot forward

The roof atop your future home might appear structurally sound from ground level, but an inspector will make sure of that fact by climbing up top to spot any signs of damage. An additional, optional roof inspector can go even further, analyzing the gutters, chimneys, downspouts, ventilation systems, and more. 

If you want to get an idea of how long the roof on a home might last, a roof inspector can give you a good estimate, including making recommendations for fixes, such as patches that will prolong the time frame for a total replacement. Learning about the materials from which your roof is constructed will also give you an educated stance as a future homeowner.

Discovering potential “unwanted occupants”

After closing, the sellers will be long gone from the home, but the same might not be true for some other living things, including vermin and mold. The home inspector will crawl into the spaces that you might not feel comfortable entering to give you an overview of any infestations or overgrowths. The inspector will also alert you to previous signs of infestation, including issues where sheetrock and/or building materials might have been consumed or otherwise deteriorated.

How can the results of a home inspection be used in negotiation?

In your contract, you can specify the total monetary sum toward repair costs you are willing to make as a buyer. Beyond that figure, it may be possible to negotiate the final sale price of a home after the inspection, or you might be able to ask the sellers to make the repairs themselves. With an inspection contingency in the contract, you could also have the option of backing out of the deal altogether if the situation is more than you’re willing to bargain for.

In any case, if you do move forward with the home purchase after the inspection, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve done everything you can to understand the condition of your future abode.

Ready to take the next step?

In conclusion, if you’re asking yourself, “Do I need a home inspection?” The answer should be a resounding “yes!” Don’t settle for less. Your home is likely the largest investment you’ll ever make, and it’s important to educate yourself about the true quality of your purchase. Reach out to Roger Banning at RE/MAX Fine Properties for expert, trustworthy guidance on your path to homeownership.


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