Why do I need a home inspection?
There are two major reasons to get an inspection: to save money and for peace of mind. The inspection fees are small compared to the costs of major repairs. Plus, if major defects are found during a pre-purchase inspection, the buyer may be able to negotiate with the seller to fix or pay for the problems. Even new construction homes may have major defects.
Here are just a few examples of actual problems that have been found during inspections.
This if from Personal Finance Advice (pfadvice.com):
"The first time a realtor explained the home inspection process to me, I thought, “What a load of crap! I can test the dishwasher and make sure all the outlets work myself! Why would I pay someone else $450 to do those things?” If you, like me, aren’t sure why you’d want to pay someone else to inspect your home before your purchase it, read on.
It’s true that the purpose of a home inspection is only to inspect the quality, safety, and overall condition of things that are readily visible — that is, components of a home that don’t involve dismantling anything or opening up walls and ceilings. While this may sound like something anyone with a good eye could do, here are some examples of things a home inspector will look for that you probably can’t identify yourself.
- Do you know how to identify a toilet that needs replacement?
- Can you identify faulty wiring on a garbage disposal?
- Do you know how to tell if the dryer vents properly?
- Can you identify a fireplace that is not in safe, usable condition?
- If you live in an area subject to earthquakes, do you know how to make sure your water heater is properly strapped?
- Do you know how to tell if the vent above the kitchen range hood is a fire hazard?
Also, be aware that just because a home is new doesn’t mean it you shouldn’t have it inspected. Even an extremely expensive new home does not equate to an extremely well-constructed home. Just as you can purchase a brand-new car that is a lemon, be it an F-150 or a Corvette, you can purchase a brand-new home with significant defects.
If you’re still looking to save money on a home inspection, what about having a friend in the construction, engineering, or real estate business do the inspection for you? You may save money, but you won’t be getting expertise. Believe it or not, home inspection involves specialized training that any of these professionals are unlikely to have. Also, if you go ahead and purchase the home that your friend inspected and discover a costly defect later that you think the inspector should not have missed, wouldn’t you rather be angry with (and possibly sue) an inspector you don’t know than a good friend?
When it comes down to it, you just shouldn’t let the cost of a home inspection trouble you (if you can’t afford it, you’re not ready to buy, anyway). While a home inspection will cost several hundred dollars, it can easily pay for itself and then some. The home inspection helps you determine if you are paying a fair price for the home — if it has several repairs that need to be made, you may be able to negotiate with the seller and get him to replace the broken air conditioner before you move in or provide a cash credit for you to take care of the work yourself once you’re the new owner. When you consider how expensive it can be to replace an air conditioner or furnace (say, $2,000) or even a dishwasher, the cost of a home inspection really seems nominal.
Don’t expect to find a new home that is flawless — your goal is to make sure the home you’re interested in doesn’t have any existing costly defects and that you go into the purchase knowing what shortcomings the home may have and what repairs need to be made."
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