Having a professional home inspection done on a piece of real estate before you finalize the purchase is standard practice these days.
In days gone by, home inspections were less formal and sometimes not done at all – so some people are asking, “Does it always make sense to order a pro home inspection?”
Below, we will look briefly at the reasons why you should get a home inspection, why some people forego having one done on occasion and the different types of modern home inspections available today.
Why Should You Order A Professional Home Inspection?
Before we can understand why there might be an exceptional case where a home inspection might not be needed, we need to first understand why they are, in fact, of great benefit in most home-buying situations.
The most obvious reason why home inspections are so popular is that they alert you to problems and potential future problems with a piece of property before you are “stuck” with it. Some examples of the most common types of issues a home inspection can uncover include:
- Cracks, erosion, or weaknesses in the building’s foundation.
- Outdated or unreliable plumbing pipes.
- Outdated or unsafe electrical wiring.
- Mold and mildew growth and/or wood rot.
- Asbestos in the attic insulation or other parts of the building.
- An inefficient ductwork system or other HVAC repair needs.
- Roofing that is old and unreliable or that is otherwise in poor condition.
- Roofing not firmly attached to the roof deck, a roof deck not well attached to the rafters, or a roof structure not securely attached to the walls.
- Poor drainage on the lot.
- Termites or other wood-destroying organisms on the property.
These are only a handful of the main issues that home inspectors can discover. The full inspection report would be much more detailed and thorough.
A second reason many get a home inspection done on a property they are interested in buying is so they can make a list of upgrades to be done post-purchase. This is especially a concern with older homes.
Third, home inspections can give you the ability to get out of a contract if the issues discovered are sufficiently large. OR, they may simply give you “negotiating leverage” so you can either get the price lowered or get the seller to agree to fix certain specific issues before the sale is made final.
Fourth and finally, home inspections are generally required by mortgage lenders and/or by homeowner’s insurers. So if like most would-be homeowners, you need a bank loan and need to cover the house with homeowner’s insurance, you will need at least a 4-point inspection.
When Might You Forego A Home Inspection?
There really aren’t a lot of situations where it’s a good risk to simply skip a home inspection. However, there may be a few examples.
First, if you are buying a home very, very cheap (maybe for back taxes or after it has been devastated by a hurricane or house fire), you might forego an inspection – at least temporarily.
If you plan to simply flip the house and have planned enough funds to cover issues that may pop up but aren’t visible when you buy the house – that is, you “expect the unexpected” and create a budget for it; then you might skip an inspection.
BUT, even in such cases, you may want to have the house inspected just before listing it to ensure all is well. And those shopping for the home on the market are going to want to order a home inspection on the property at that point.
What Different Kinds Of Home Inspections Are There Today?
Given that you want to go ahead and have a pro home inspection done – or have to do so regardless because the bank or home insurer requires it, which kind of inspection should your order?
1. The most common and basic inspection is called a “4-point home inspection.” This looks at the building’s four basic systems: HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), electrical, plumbing, and roofing.
2. A comprehensive home inspection covers all the bases. It encompasses the 4-point inspection but goes well beyond.
3. A wind-mitigation inspection focuses on just those aspects of a house that impact its ability to stand up against severe wind speeds. In Florida, homeowner’s insurance companies, by state law, must give you a discount if you earn wind mitigation points via a wind mitigation inspection.
4. A WDO (wood-destroying organisms) inspection looks for signs of current or past infestations by termites and other insects and organisms that could damage the wood structures of a building.
5. An infrared inspection incorporates high-tech, infrared tools that can “see” behind walls and ceilings in order to detect issues in the hidden nooks and crannies of a home.
Home inspections generally don’t cost all that much, maybe $200 or $300 in most cases, depending on the size of the building and the type of inspection ordered. In the vast majority of instances, the benefits far outweigh the costs. There are only a few exceptional situations where it might make sense to skip one.
It’s far better to minimize risks when buying a new home by having a professional inspection done than to wish you had later!
To learn more about how home inspections work, when you should order one, and which kind might best fit your needs, contact the experts at Super Inspection Pros in Central Florida today!