6 Important Reasons to Get a Home Inspection Before You Buy a House

Story Highlights

  • #1 – Locate structural problems
  • #2 – Find out possible safety issues
  • #3 – Budget future maintenance costs
  • #4 – Valuable tool during price negotiations
  • #5 – Home buyers have an 'out'
  • #6 – Get true peace of mind

We all recognize the emotions involved when you see that ‘perfect house’! The popular expression tells us, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”, and that’s ever so true for buying real estate!

Ask any experienced real estate agent, a home inspection can in 99% of the time avoid a messy real estate deal. Yet, one wonders why not every single home buyer (or seller for that matter!) opts to have a home inspection done.

Forget thinking you can have a ‘thorough look’ yourself and detect any major problems. I know that many home buyers are quite the handymen themselves, but going into detail as a home inspector does, is a completely different matter.

Why can’t one regard such a home inspection as some sort of insurance, to protect against what might or might not be?!

You’re getting insurance on your iPhone when you buy a new one, “just in case” something goes wrong, but spending such sums on getting a home inspection report done prior to buying a home is not worth it?

Maybe you haven’t been properly informed why these home inspection reports are so important to you? And how much money you’re going to save by getting a home inspection done!

What could possibly be the reasons why you as a home buyer should get a home inspection before buying a house?

This article will cover the most popular six reasons why it’s in your best interest to do so:

#1 – Locate structural problems

A home inspection can detect whether there are any structural issues!

While we can all get on our knees and start having a thorough look at some of the inside/outside walls to determine whether’s anything worthwhile noting, it does truly take a professional to detect any potential structural issues!

“Certain large cracks in the walls, door frames or ceiling, which were quickly explained away by the home seller at the time of mandate signing, might actually turn out to be a serious structural problem, where some handfuls of spackling paste won’t do the trick to make it all go away.”

A home inspection will discover such any potential red flags such as structural issues!

Some areas of the country lend themselves to more foundation issues than elsewhere, so needless to say, given the importance of a property’s sound foundation, failure to pinpoint any outstanding issues will result in a very expensive exercise to remedy those problems.

#2 – Find out possible safety issues

Can you say with absolute certainty that your new home doesn’t have any mold? How about carbon monoxide of poorly-installed or badly-maintained household appliances? Blocked chimney anyone?

“Buying a property without having a home inspection is almost the same as driving your car blindfolded! You’re still moving forward, but have no real idea where you’re going to land up!”

Isn’t it rather amazing how many hidden defects, known and unknown to either party, can suddenly rear its ugly head?

Are you willing to jeopardize the safety and health of yourself and your loved ones?

The home inspection report will cover any of those concerns, and come up with suggestions how to tackle the potential problems and its likely cost.

#3 – Budget future maintenance costs

All those questions (and more) can be answered by the home inspection report!

Any experienced home inspector will be able to diagnose the situation of the individual installation and determine whether maintenance is long overdue, or has been taken care of quite recently.

And perhaps more importantly, the home inspection will also give you a good idea how long one still has before the current appliances need to be replaced.

Having these detailed assessments done beforehand will allow you as the home buyer to budget any future maintenance costs as the total cost of homeownership.

Are too many of these major installations coming to the end of its shelf-life at the same time? Does the purchase price suddenly not look as attractive any more?

A home buyer will get invaluable maintenance feedback from the get-go before he gets involved and put his hard-earned money into a property, which is going to cost him a lot more than anticipated.

While there will always be unexpected expenses or repairs to be done when you’re a homeowner, as a home buyer, you rather know ahead of time if certain expenses ought to be adjusted for in the purchase price.

The last thing the buyer wants is getting home buyer’s remorse after purchasing the home!

#4 – Valuable tool during price negotiations

There’s no doubt about it: having a full home inspection report done prior to buying the property will allow one to negotiate from a point of strength!

“Mr Buyer, I’m sure you’ve seen the tiny cracks along the outside wall, and it’ll be a quick fix to sort that out! Don’t you worry!”

“Mr Seller, while it might appear to be the case at first sight, the home inspection report explains in detail (supported by pictures) that we’re actually looking at more than just natural settling of the house! See this number here? That will likely be my cost to fix it all. How about we adjust the selling price accordingly?”

“Any requests for repairs by either party following the home inspection report will be easier to handle vs. trying to determine the severity by having all parties using their personal ‘expertise’ to come up with potential costs.”

However, home buyers can’t expect to use the entire home inspection report as an excuse to justify for the seller to fix every single problem in the house, especially when they were known beforehand. Any experienced real estate agent will have already explained this to his client, in conjunction with the warning of an unlikely positive outcome if one were to proceed as such!

All-in-all, having a home inspection done only benefits one’s negotiation power!

#5 – Home buyers have an ‘out’

You’re not too comfortable with the home inspector’s findingsStep away from the deal! 

Yes, you read that correctly! A complete home inspection report could potentially give you enough reasons NOT to go ahead with the deal! 

What if there are too many critical systems nearing their ‘shelf-life’ expiration date? Are you willing to take on all those extra costs to repair and replace them in a few months? What if the report comes back with structural issues in parts of the house? Are you okay taking those on?

A home inspection can honestly save you A LOT of money! Whether it is by revealing all the unexpected costs you might be facing in the near future as the new owner of that house, or whether it is by using the home inspection report as a negotiation tool to reduce the final sales price of getting that house!Either way, that seemingly small cost (investment?) of getting that report can give you huge returns on the initial money layout!

Even though you as the home buyer will be able to use the home inspection as your main tool for negotiation, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the home seller will agree with whatever numbers have been put forward by the home inspector.

Many times, the buyer and seller don’t come to an agreement who will be carrying certain costs. As the home buyer, you might be adamant that a number of repairs need to be done by the seller, WITHOUT adjusting the sales price, whereas the home seller strongly believes if he were to do those repairs, the price needs to be adjusted downwards!

If a stalemate ensues, it will be completely your call if you’re comfortable enough with the negotiated terms on the bigger picture to go ahead with the purchase, or decide to rather back out and continue your home buying search!

Thanks to the home inspection, you now know exactly what you’re getting yourself involved with. How’s that for being in control of the transaction?!

#6 – Get true peace of mind

Those of us who have purchased a property before know how stressful the home buying process can get!

Peace of mind knowing there aren’t any hidden problems in your new home! No skeletons falling out of the closet in the weeks/months to come…

Why add on any unnecessary stress by purchasing a house which may or may not have hidden defects, structural problems, potential safety issues or illegal additions?!

All those worries can simply be taken away by getting a home inspection! Imagine getting involved in a purchase transaction of your personal home where you know way in advance of the existence of any issues or problems, potential repairs, maintenance, leaks etc.!?

In six months’ time, you’ll likely have to replace some of the filters; by year’s end, it would be advisable to have your A/C unit serviced, etc.

Wouldn’t that give you peace of mind?

A home inspection will result in you knowing where the ‘weaknesses’ of the house are; the really true condition of the house! Over time, there’s no doubt that home inspections will be required by law.

Until then, it will be up to each and every home buyer to determine whether he is comfortable enough getting financially connected to a house for the next 10, 20 or 30 years, without doing a home inspection.

Feeling comfortable in your newly-purchased house will make it that much easier to call it your home!

Other Interesting Home Inspection Articles:

Hopefully, the above-mentioned reasons have given you enough ammunition to insist on having a home inspection done next time you’re thinking of buying a house!

Knowing ahead of time what you’re getting yourself involved with can only bring you peace of mind that this gorgeous house you fell in love with, is actually perfect for you!

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Get a Home Inspection Before You Buy a House
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Xavier De Buck

Real Estate Agent Keller Williams Realty | Social Media Junkie | Content Curator | Early Adopter | Proud Husband & Father

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  1. You made a good point that pre-purchase inspections could be my last chance to say to a deal if I’m not satisfied with the results. I recently bought a house that I didn’t know had no waterproofing in its basement. Next time I make a real estate investment, I’ll make sure that I get the house inspected first.

    1. Exactly, Alice! We get ‘insurance’ for everything, if you wish. Why not when buying one of life’s most expensive assets!?

  2. My sister is just on the cusp of buying her first house, and she’s a very anxious person. She wants to make sure she picks a safe and sound home for her family in the near future, and so I was interested when I learned about home inspections before purchases. It especially helped how the article listed that these inspections could find out possible safety issues as neither my sister nor I could tell how secure a house is at first glance. I’ll be bringing this service up to my sister to see if we can hire any contractors for a home inspection before she makes her big purchase.

    1. Solid advice to give your sister, Afton! I’m not an expert when it comes to this, so why not get a pro involved and let him determine what’s right/wrong from the getgo! Thanks for stopping by.

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