If you buy a home without having it inspected by a professional, you may end up owning a property with a lot of necessary repairs. While minor fixes can usually be turned into do-it-yourself projects, major defects can cost you lots of money and cause you to overpay for the home. Investopedia further explains what to expect when having your home inspected.
Hiring an inspector
When hiring an inspector, make sure you find one who is reputable and experienced. A normal inspection typically lasts between two to three hours, and since you're paying for them to visit, be sure to ask any questions you may have regarding common maintenance. A home inspector can even provide you with estimates for anticipated work.
Getting through the inspection
The inspector will review a property's key components, including the house's roof, garage and foundation for any problems on the exterior. Missing shingles or cracks in gutters could result in roof damage, while an unsettled or shifting foundation could mean an expensive repair is in your future.
Inside, the inspector will check important systems that are costly to repair and replace. If your soon-to-be home has leaks or problems with water pressure, it likely has something to do with the plumbing. Wiring can also be expensive to fix if installed incorrectly. The inspector should also look for issues regarding fire safety and ventilation, and test appliances throughout the home.
Making sense of the inspection findings
Post-inspection, you may decide that the home has too many issues to fix. Or, perhaps you can use the inspection results as leverage for negotiation – asking for a price reduction as compensation for future fixes is common. Remember, you also have the option to walk away from the property if the seller is unwilling to drop their price or pay for repairs.