Don’t Skip The Home Inspection. Here’s Why.

Don’t Skip The Home Inspection. Here’s Why.

  • HTX Group
  • 08/11/22

Buying a home is probably one of the most crucial purchases in your life. Therefore, you must take all measures to buy a home that meets your expectations. No better action can help ensure that your house is up to your expectations than a home inspection.

A home inspection is a comprehensive examination of the condition of a home for sale. It includes the inspection of the house's exterior, interior, and the functionality of various features. This post details why you should conduct a home inspection whether you're buying or selling a home.

It helps you get approved for homeowner insurance

For those planning to buy their dream house through a mortgage, you're probably familiar with the requirement for home insurance. Almost all home insurance companies expect a score of at least 4 points for a home insurance inspection. Therefore, conducting a home inspection before the home insurance inspection would help you identify issues that might jeopardize the inspection.

Home inspectors usually look at three basic things when inspecting a home. They will look for opportunities that make the home safe and secure. It will include potential liability risks and fire hazards. The insurance company will most likely deny coverage for a property with safety and security risks. The home inspectors will also take measurements of the property, looking for the quality of construction and structures such as your flooring. Finally, they will check if the property is up-to-code with its heating, windows, electrical system, and plumbing.

Homeowners can make relevant adjustments based on their inspection reports. However, this doesn't rule out the need for a prior home inspection since it will help you go through their inspection smoothly.

Gain leverage over the seller

The home inspection information can reveal what doesn't meet your standards in a house and even prompt you to back off from a deal. Remember, there are penalties associated with backing off a home buying process, primarily if your buying contract allocates a timeline to conduct a home inspection. You may even lose any funds you've put into the deal if you prematurely back off from the agreement.

Therefore, ensuring that your home inspection is conducted within the allocated timeline allows you to back off from a deal if you feel that the house's condition is beyond what you expected or handled.

If the property has issues that aren't deal-breakers, you can ask your realtor to list those issues as "contingencies." This makes them part of the conditions that the home seller should meet before closing on the property. In most cases, home sellers are willing to lower the price or offer credit to proceed with the transaction. This allows you to negotiate the price to a lower price. However, you must factor in the cost of fixing the listed issues to avoid spending more than the initial listed price.

Uncover safety issues

Home inspections can reveal detailed safety concerns about a home. It can help you uncover issues such as:

Poor drainage and grading

Many home inspections reveal drainage grading and drainage problems. This is the primary cause of cracked concrete slabs, water pooling in the yard, and penetration into your basement. Poor drainage or grading can also refer to uneven terrain that can trip you while walking. Once a home inspection identifies a poorly graded or drained terrain, you can include this as part of the issues that the seller should fix.

Wiring problems

Wiring problems accounted for 13% of home structure fires experienced in 2019
. One of the primary drivers of wiring-related housing is the failure to fix and replace outdated and unsafe electrical systems, especially in older homes. The method and design used in wiring pre-1990 are considered obsolete and should be replaced.

Damaged or old roofing

Some inspected homes end up with damaged or old roofing that needs replacing. Damaged or outdated roofing poses a lot of risk to homeowners by hosting vermin and rodents or failure to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Poor ventilation

In most cases, the need for quality ventilation escapes a home buyer's attention. Poor home ventilation can put dwellers under safety hazards. It causes mold and mildew to grow inside your house. It also causes structural decay and can lower the R-value of your attic insulation.

Malfunctioning heating system

A home inspection reveals issues with the heating systems, such as cracks in the heat exchanger, malfunctioning heater controls, chimney blockage, and other issues that put the heating system below the required building codes. A faulty heating system might also increase your home's monthly electric bill and be a fire hazard.

Reveal insect and pest issues

Even though home inspections are more general, you may ask the inspector to include a pest inspection to reveal any insect or pest issue. The inspector will look into the interior and exterior of your home to identify various critters that could pose a hazard. Depending on where your home is located, they may look for:

  • Bedbugs
  • Subterranean termites
  • Cockroaches
  • Carpenter ants
  • Scorpion
  • Spiders
  • Various types of rodents
  • Moths
Besides the critters, the home inspector should check for structural damages that they may cause. They will look for evidence of the siding, baseboards, and floorboards.

Ability to forecast future expenses

Home inspectors can approximate the installation cost of crucial systems such as heating and cooling, plumbing, and water heaters. They can diagnose the current condition and structure and tell how long they have been in a home and how long they should stay before being replaced.

Everything in the home you're about to buy has a shelf-life. Therefore, knowing when some of them need replacing gives you a better view of whether to continue with your deal or should back off. Replacing some home appliances, such as the heating and cooling system, is expensive, and replacing them within five years of buying your home wouldn't make any financial sense.

Additionally, worn-out home appliances can raise your home insurance coverage since they pose a hazard risk for your property.

It's a relatively inexpensive process

Buying a luxury home is a significant investment. On the other hand, a home inspection would cost between $300 to $600, based on the size of the home you're about to buy. Comparing this cost and the kind of benefits that follows, there's a lot of financial sense into why you would need to conduct the inspection even when you are comfortable with the property you're about to buy.

Even for a home that feels comfortable to buy without an inspection, there are places where you would feel uncomfortable inspecting by yourself. Talk about that unforgotten corner in the attic or the basement. You would rather leave the home inspector to get into these places rather than yourself.

Reveals and test radon levels

As a home buyer, you must be wary of the presence of radon in the home you're about to buy. Radon is the second highest cause of lung cancer after smoking. This emphasizes the need to ask your home inspector to test radon levels in your dream house. If the radon levels are high, you will ask the home seller to include measures to mitigate the radon levels in their contingency plans before you close the deal.

Ability to reveal faulty electrical systems

Faulty electrical systems can pose a danger to your loved ones. Therefore, a home inspection would help reveal electrical faults that are potential hazards. Some of the electricity problems that a home inspection may reveal are as follows:

  • Double-tapped circuit breakers: Ideally, you should connect one wire to one circuit breaker in the panel board. If two wires are connected to the circuit breaker or if there's a loose connection, this can lead to potential fires.

  • Lack of GFCI protection: Ground fault circuit interrupters or GFCI are used in wet areas such as the laundry room, basements, kitchen outlets, and bathrooms. A home inspection will reveal whether the GFCI outlets are functioning correctly and if they pose a risk to the homeowners.

  • Reversed polarity: The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) expects home inspectors to report reversed polarity once they identify it during a home inspection process. Although this isn't a potential fire hazard, it creates significant electrical shock. A home inspection would help correct this issue before you buy a house.

  • Ungrounded receptacles: Home inspectors should also report instances where there are ungrounded receptacles. If a home is not adequately grounded, anyone living in that home may experience electric shocks, which may also be a potential fire hazard. 
Are you buying a home in Garden Oaks, Heights, or Memorial, Houston? HTX Group is here to help. With over 35 years of real estate services serving Houston and its neighborhoods, no better real estate agents can achieve the most remarkable milestone in pursuing your dream home. Contact us today and experience exceptional real estate services that suit your needs.

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Whether helping first-time homebuyers, move-up buyers, investors, or empty nesters, the HTX Group demonstrates unmatched service, a tenacious work ethic, and clear communication that makes every client feel like they are their only client. If you are ready to start your buying or selling process give us a call. We're happy to answer all your questions.