You’ve been to so many open houses that you’re starting to feel like a real estate expert. But it paid off! You finally found your dream home and made an offer.
But the time for making big decisions isn’t over. One question you probably have is: Do I really need to pay to get a home inspection?
While a home inspection is not always an absolute requirement, you should get one to rule out any major issues. Not all problems are deal breakers — you’ll likely just overlook that unpainted deck or loose doorknob.
Of course, some more severe issues may crop up during the home inspection:
- Electricity and wiring troubles can be dangerous if the electrical system is outdated. But they’re merely an inconvenience in some cases. For example, some older systems can’t accommodate the power demands of modern appliances.
- Foundational issues are hugely problematic and can run up quite a tab. Plus a home’s age doesn’t always factor into whether or not it has a faulty foundation. If the owner refuses to fix cracks (especially horizontal ones), it may be best to walk away.
- Problems with doors can indicate greater issues, like overexposure to water. Structural complications can also lead to defective doors.
- Exterior caulking that has deteriorated can lead to water damage, mold and greater long-term defects in your home.
So what can you do to protect yourself from a house with these issues?
The short answer is “inspection contingency.” Make sure you have one in your contract when you make your offer — before the inspection takes place. You could make the sale contingent upon negotiating repairs or price with the seller if the inspection reveals major issues. It also gives you the ability to walk away if a deal can’t be negotiated.
Each situation will be different, and it will depend on the home, the seller and your preferences.
Have questions about financing your home purchase? Get in touch today.