Once you find the perfect home after a long, arduous search and enter into a contract, you may be tempted to rush through the rest of the home buying process. You’re not alone if you want to wrap things up quickly and avoid any more additional price tags. But before you decide to pass on a home inspection, you might want to consider the repercussions of what skipping this crucial step can lead to.
Why is a Home Inspection So Important?
There are an array of reasons not to skip a home inspection before officially buying or selling a home. It might seem like an unnecessary expense but it can be a worthwhile investment in the long run. In this section, we’ll look at a few ways an inspection can protect and assist a homebuyer in the final steps of the process.
Reveals Any Unreported Damage
Home inspections can reveal any undisclosed damage or repair needs in your prospective future home. You’ll get a full picture of any additional funds you may need to invest in addressing issues with the home and its systems. An inspection can uncover structural issues, hidden water damage, electrical issues, and more.
Gives You an Out or Negotiating Tool
If you do discover more damage than you bargained for, after your inspection you can either back out of your contract or use your findings as a negotiation tool. Once you purchase a home, it’s a done deal; you are stuck with whatever repairs need to be done. But taking the step to get an inspection offers you the chance to change your mind or in some cases get a lower price on the home.
Assures Your Future Home is Safe
A simple cursory look through a home can lead you to miss underlying safety issues. When you go through with an inspection, you can scan the home for mold, radon, asbestos, carbon monoxide, and more. It can also reveal dangerous or illegal installations or additions in the home. If a concern is raised and you don’t want to be responsible for remediating the situation, you can cancel your contract.
Unveils Any Prospective Costs
As we highlighted above, there can be a lot of fees hidden in the walls of a home you go under contract on. A thorough inspection will reveal any and all future costs you’ll be saddled with if you carry on with your contract as planned. This can save you a lot of money down the road if a major issue is discovered.
Assists With Insurance
A lot of homeowner insurance providers have strict rules around what they will and will not cover. Sometimes they will even require an inspection in order to obtain coverage. This gives you an added incentive to get your inspection over with in one sitting so you can not only assure your home is safe and damage-free but also so you can obtain the best home insurance policy possible.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection
An inspector will perform an all-encompassing examination of your prospective home and hand you a report detailing all of their findings before you seal the deal on your home. They will take a thorough look at both the interior and exterior of the home to sus out any potential issues you might not be aware of.
The length of the entire inspection will depend on the size of the home, how detailed the inspection is, how many issues are detected, and how much preparation the seller does ahead of time. Usually, you can expect the entire process to last anywhere from two to four hours.
Generally, the inspector will execute a walk-through of the interior and exterior of the home. They will take photos and notes about anything they find. Here are some of the areas in your prospective home the inspector will take a look at:
Your home inspector will walk you through the entire home including crawlspaces and the attic. They’ll look for damage or safety hazards along the way and take note of anything you should be aware of.
- Kitchen – Here your inspector will take a look at the general functionality of the kitchen and sometimes the installed appliances there as well.
- Bathroom – This area can be prone to mold so your inspector will check for an existing infestation and proper ventilation to prevent future mold issues. They’ll also check for leaks around the toilet and sink.
- Laundry Room – Your inspector will check this room for proper ventilation. A lack of ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide risks and fire hazards.
- Plumbing – As they walk through, they will check for leaks around pipes, faucets, and showers. If the pipes look to be old, you might be referred to get a second inspection by a plumber to see if they need to be replaced any time soon.
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) – Here they will determine the age and functionality of the furnace or boiler. They will also take a look at the ducts and insulation of the home. They will carry out an asbestos test on the insulation.
- Electrical – Your inspector will test the outlets throughout the home and search for any fault circuit interrupters. This is an important step in order to rule out any electrical fire risks.
- General Fire Safety – As they walk through the interior of the home, the inspector will keep an eye out for any areas that might pose a fire safety risk.
Once the interior is thoroughly inspected, they will move on to examine the exterior. Here they will look for any issues with the structure and integrity of the home. This will be important to secure the safety and insulation of the interior.
- Foundation – In most cases, the foundation won’t be completely visible. Your inspector will look for any secondary indicators that there’s a greater issue with the foundation.
- Grading – Every home must have a gentle slope leading away from its foundation. This is called grading. Your inspector will be sure there is enough of a slope to allow for proper water drainage.
- Roof – If you have roof damage, the rest of the home could be in jeopardy too. The inspector will climb a ladder to inspect the roof shingles and gutters for damage.
- Garage – A garage needs to have adequate ventilation to prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning from car fumes. Your inspector will check for this and will also ensure that all doors open and close properly.
- Exterior Walls – Much like the roof, exterior walls are your home’s first line of defense against the elements of the outside world. The inspector will check for cracked or missing siding and look for any sign of pest destruction.
What Is NOT Covered During a Home Inspection?
Your inspection will only go so far. There are some areas that are too difficult to examine during a run of the mill home inspection. If it requires any sort of invasive maneuvering to get a proper picture of a given area, you likely won’t get any information on its status. For example, in order to get a read on the interior of a wall, the inspector would need to cut through the drywall. This isn’t typical on a normal home inspection.
Here are some other areas that won’t be inspected:
- Inside the chimney
- Inside pipes
- Some appliances (i.e. washer, dryer, dishwasher)
- Behind electrical panels
What to Do When The Inspection Finds Damage
You have two broad options when you receive a home inspection report detailing unforeseen damage and necessary repairs: you can cancel your contract or you can move forward anyway. Usually, home buyers will attempt to get the seller to cover some of the damage repair costs. If you do choose to go this route, you’ll likely still have to facilitate these repairs.
Hire A Restoration Company
If you’re not one to take up a home restoration project on your own, the next course of action will be to hire a restoration company. The company you hire will depend on what damage you unearth. If there’s an issue with the furnace, you’ll need to consult an HVAC specialist. If there’s leaky plumbing, you’ll likely need to reach out to a plumber. For water or mold damage, hire a local restoration company.
Those in the Northern Colorado region can count on 970 Services for a range of restoration needs. If your home inspection turns up evidence of mold, water damage, fire damage, or roof damage, we can help. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation.