Buying a home is a huge investment. For many people, their home is the most valuable asset they own, which is why it is so important to protect yourself when purchasing a new home with a comprehensive inspection. Other than living in the property yourself, nothing will give you the insight and guidance to make an informed home purchasing decision like a home inspection done by a credible, reliable inspection contractor.
A Home Inspection Helps Identify Damage and Safety Issues
At Douglas Realty, we recommend home inspections for all our potential buyers for a variety of reasons. The biggest advantage of a home inspection is that it helps identify damage and safety issues that may not be noticed otherwise. Common problems unearthed during a home inspection include:
- Structural damage
- Cracked or unlevel foundation
- Illegal add-ons that are not structurally sound
- Roof issues/leaks/water damage/mold issues
- Major system damage or theft (i.e. electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.)
- Appliance damage, theft, or malfunction (i.e. refrigerator, range, washer, dryer, etc.)
- Hazardous gas levels
- Carbon monoxide
If any issues related to the home’s structure or safety are found during the home inspection, you and the seller can go back to the negotiation table and rework the deal to either repair damage or lower the sale price to cover the cost of repairs and replacements. If you can’t reach a new agreement after the results of the home inspection, then you can walk away from the deal without any penalty or risk of legal liability.
It’s important to note what a home inspection does NOT cover as well. Home inspectors do not usually look behind interior walls since this requires cutting into drywall, so they won’t be able to check out wiring and other functional items located there. If you’re concerned about the home’s electrical system, consider having an inspection done by a licensed electrician in addition to the general home inspection. A licensed electrician will also be able to look in and behind the fuse boxes for issues. Home inspectors do not generally check inside plumbing lines or any other pipes either, so you’ll need an inspection by a licensed plumber to check out the usability of the home’s sewer or septic system. You should always get a written list of exactly what each inspector checks for so you know what’s covered.
Most Lenders Require a Home Inspection
A home inspection is such a valuable tool in identifying potential issues in a home that most mortgage lenders require them. If you plan on financing your home purchase with a mortgage, be sure to ask exactly which inspections are required before submitting a financing application. This will allow you to budget for the inspection costs, which are almost always the buyer’s responsibility.
There’s also no rule against getting more inspections done than the lender requires. For example, the lender may not specify the need for a plumbing inspection, but with the knowledge that inspection inside plumbing lines is not done in a general home inspection, it is prudent to request one anyway.
A Good Inspection Details Preventative Maintenance
A good home inspection doesn’t stop once the inspection is over. Top-notch home inspectors will also provide the buyer with estimations on the expected life expectancy of major systems and appliances, allowing the buyer to estimate future maintenance costs as a factor in negotiations. Also expect a list of routine maintenance tasks that apply to the home from the best inspectors, arming you with quality information that, if followed, will benefit you for years to come by way of lower maintenance costs and higher home values.
There’s no doubt that a home inspection is a useful and necessary tool in any property purchase. The real estate team at Douglas Realty & Property Management has helped many southwest Florida homebuyers ensure their purchase is in the best condition possible by recommending and facilitating quality home inspections for various properties. If you’re looking to buy a property in or around Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, or Lehigh Acres, call (239) 542-6906 or contact us online to see how we can help you find your dream home today!