Most people don’t buy new homes every day. In fact, many people will only buy one or two homes, maybe three or four, in their lifetimes. When you’re in the home-buying process, you’ll often hear how important it is to have a home inspection. Unfortunately, few people tell you why it’s so important.
Even some real estate agents may be somewhat vague about the reasons it’s so important to have an inspector investigate the house you’re considering buying. Their job is to sell the home, after all. A proper inspection can reveal important details, including:
- How much work , if any, needs to be done to the home
- Whether buyers are willing to purchase the home in its current condition
- If buyers need to adjust their offers to accommodate the costs of repairs or make the offer contingent upon certain repairs being made
Additionally, some buyers may learn that the home does not qualify for their anticipated mortgages in its current condition as a result of the inspection. For instance, VA loans, FHA loans, USDA loans, conventional loans, and some JUMBO loans may have specific requirements for the appraisal and condition of the home that require repairs prior to the loan.
Keep in mind, however, that even the best home inspections can only reveal so much. Inspectors have eyes trained to see signs of damage but cannot go beneath the surface. Just because no signs are visible yet doesn’t mean there aren’t problems lurking in the walls and other places you can’t see.
Below, buyers will find five key things to look for during a home inspection. Keep these in mind and make sure you get as many details as possible in the process.
1. The Condition of the Roof
Some house inspectors will only do a cursory inspection of the roof – from the ground. It’s worth the investment to hire a roof inspector who will get up on the roof and conduct a more complete inspection for signs of trouble, weak spots, and indications of current problems or major problems on the horizon before you buy the home. A roof is costly to replace and not something most homebuyers are interested in doing within the first five years of homeownership.
2. Foundation and Structure of the Home
Another potentially costly area for repairs is the foundation of your home. Without a solid foundation, your house can experience a wide range of problems. It is best to repair foundation issues quickly and address the issue when buying the home. It is possible, with some loans, to wrap the costs into the offer, or you could request that the sellers make the repairs before you agree to purchase the home.
The same holds true for other structural issues such as rotting wood, water damage, etc. Not only do you want to identify the cause of the problems; you also want to make sure you address the cause before repairing the damage.
3. Mold or Water Issues
Water is a big problem. There’s no denying that. It is destructive in its own right and then adds to the destructiveness by creating conditions ripe for mold development. Fortunately, testing for mold has become far more sophisticated in recent years, as has mold remediation. However, it is something potential buyers need to be warned about, so you can consider the costs and potential health consequences of mold and moisture in your new home.
Many home inspections may not include pest inspections. If yours does not, you might consider a separate inspection for pests, such as termites, other insects, mice, ants, bats, etc. An occasional mouse or insect is nearly impossible to eliminate from homes. An infestation, however, is something you want to know about before you move into a home. Make sure your inspection includes a pest inspection for your peace of mind if nothing else.
Another large expense you don’t want to move in on top of is an HVAC expense. Not only can it be costly to update broken HVAC systems, but it can also be costly to operate older, inefficient HVAC models. Plus, a thorough HVAC inspection may reveal the need for new ductwork in the home, mold in the HVAC venting, and countless other potential problems you’ll want to correct before calling the house your home.
Buying a home is no small investment. When you’re putting this much money on the line, whether buying your home in cash or financing your home with a mortgage, a home inspection can help you weigh your options, so you can make wise, informed buying decisions. At Southwest Funding, we are here to help you get the information you need and more for buying your home.
Southwest Funding, LP | Southwest Funding, Limited Partnership (NMLS #32139) is an equal housing lender. This is not a commitment to lend or extend credit. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Terms and conditions apply. All rights reserved. Contact us for details. Consult your accountant about tax deductions.