home inspectionHow Home Inspections Save You Money In The Long Run

While many homebuyers balk at the added expense of a home inspection, the cost becomes an afterthought when an inspector finds a major issue. With a house being one of the most substantial investments the average person makes in their lifetime, you want to make sure you’re not making a bad investment. Let’s take a look at how home inspections can save you money in the long run.

What is a home inspection?

While it isn’t unheard of to purchase a home “as is,” and there is no legal requirement to have a home inspection completed, most buyers want an idea of what they’re getting into. When you order a home inspection, the inspector will comb the house, top to bottom, looking for any potential issues. Your contractor will look at the structure, from the roof to the foundation, as well as the systems within the house, like electrical wiring and plumbing. Once completed, you’ll receive a thorough report covering each area of the home.

When the term “home inspection” is used, it typically refers to a general inspection of the house. General inspections cover everything from visible insulation to the foundation. However, there are many types or more detailed or in-depth home inspections available, including chimney, roof, pest/rodent/termite, electrical, mold, lead paint, radon, HVAC, asbestos, plumbing & sewer, foundation & structure, and others. You don’t typically order all of these specialized inspections, but you may if your general inspection has indicators for issues.

Why get a home inspection?

One of the ways home inspections can save you money is by uncovering potential issues with the property you’re considering buying. For example, your home inspection may come back with signs of mold. In this case, you want to order a specialized mold inspection for the safety of yourself and your family. 

If the mold inspection returns with high levels, mitigation is in order. If you’re comfortable purchasing the home after the problem is fixed, you should negotiate with the seller to have them take care of the problem before settling. If the seller can’t afford to have the issue fixed, or is in a hurry to sell, you can ask that they knock a portion of the sale price off the home. The discounted sale price will cover the costs of you carrying out mold mitigation once you purchase the house. 

Mold is only one example of an issue that can be costly in the long run. The purpose of paying for a general home inspection is to find problems with a house that could end up costing you money in the long run. An inspection is a bargaining tool if the inspector finds issues.

Home inspections in the time of COVID-19

The novel coronavirus created a hurdle for many in the home buying process. Social distancing and strict regulations meant that some states completely halted all aspects of real estate transactions, including home inspections. And while real estate agents found ways to get creative, there were home inspection hurdles brought on by coronavirus

In those areas where real estate business was deemed essential, agents had to overcome the hurdle of sellers not wanting strangers in their home. And in regions with stay at home orders, the continuing practice would mean steep fines, citations, and even loss of licensure. For this reason, both buyers and sellers should follow their agent’s direction when it comes to local regulations.

In the past, buyers would be present for the home inspection, which takes a couple of hours. Now, buyers are not a part of the inspection process in-person, to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Not to worry, however, as many agents are representing their clients throughout the inspection process. This means they’ll be on-site during the inspection, and available for any questions or concerns, but not following the inspector on their walkthrough. If you are concerned about not being present, you can ask to arrange a FaceTime call to discuss the findings and ask questions once the inspector is finished.

So, while COVID-19 has changed who can be present during home inspections, they’re still being completed. This means that you still have the opportunity to discover any potential issues before you sign on the dotted line, which can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars down the road.

Author: Lauren B. Stevens – Professional Blogger, Writer, Editor