Buying a home is overwhelming. There are a lot of things to think about, from remembering to turn in your tax returns to the lender, to signing a million disclosures, to making sure not to quit your job before closing! One thing you should definitely add to your to-do list is a home inspection.
Over the past few years, with the surge in demand for homes, it has become more popular for buyers to waive the home inspection contingency. What this means is that if you choose to do a home inspection, you can't get out of the contract based on anything that's uncovered by the inspector. Nowadays, this kind of a waiver is thankfully, less common. But, here are some reasons you should make sure you do an inspection!
The seller might make some repairs before you move in! Is the bathroom faucet dripping? Does the HVAC need a new part? Are some of the outlets missing a GFCI? An inspector will uncover these things you may not have noticed when viewing the home. They will explain what you might do to remedy the issues and what may happen if you choose to wait to fix it. In a typical contract, you'll have the opportunity to ask the sellers to do some of these repairs, or possibly provide a credit so that you can take care of them after closing. That's reason enough to do an inspection! But, even if the seller has said they absolutely will not do any repairs, then it's still helpful to know what you're getting into.
Understanding your home's maintenance needs. A home inspector will point out what you need to keep an eye on and maintain. Maybe the home's fascia is starting to peel and it will need to be painted and resealed in the future. Maybe the roof was just recoated but it will need to be redone in a couple of years. The home inspection is a great way to learn about how to take care of your home and stay on top of its maintenance.
Preparing for large expenses. Home ownership is a big responsibility. It's inevitable that eventually, you'll need to take care of some of the bigger ticket items if you stay in the home long enough. Some of these include roof, HVAC systems, water heaters, plumbing, gas lines, etc. A home inspector can give you an idea of the ages of these items as well as the average expected life span and how to maximize that time frame. This way you can plan ahead for the bigger expenses and be prepared!
There is no doubt that a home inspection is a crucially important part of the home buying process. If you can attend the inspection, it's a great time to ask questions and find out, for example, where the main water shutoff is. You can learn a lot about your future home! Let me know if you have any questions about inspections, or the home buying process in general!