When you are purchasing a home, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure the property is both safe and worthy of its value. Home inspections and appraisals are your tools to ensure the home you want to purchase is right for you (financially, and functionally). A home inspection is not required to purchase a home but can be highly recommended. Here is why you should get one and what you need to know! 

Home Inspection 

Home Inspections are typically completed after the offer you made on a property has been accepted. Talk to your real estate agent about the pros and cons of making a contingent offer based upon completion of a home inspection. While this could help you renegotiate if challenges arise, in a seller’s market, the contingent offer could be the reason the seller rejects your offer. 

A home inspector will determine the condition of the home, if it is safe, and its current state. If there is anything found during an inspection, such as a leaky roof, as the buyer, you could discuss repairs with the seller prior to closing. 

What You Need to Know 

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors below is a list of items an inspector will review to ensure there are not any issues: 

  • Heating system 
  • Central air conditioning system (temperature permitting) 
  • Interior plumbing and electrical systems 
  • Roof 
  • Attic, including visible insulation 
  • Walls 
  • Ceilings 
  • Floors 
  • Windows and doors 
  • Foundation 
  • Basement 
  • Structural components 

Uncovering vulnerable systems in your home can help you make post-closing decisions to protect your home (i.e., home warranties), and help you plan for any future repairs or renovations. 

Typically, the buyer will pay for the home inspection, but you can negotiate this in your offer. Discuss your options with your trusted real estate agent. In some instances, the seller will have the home inspected prior to listing it on the market. In that instance, make sure you know how recent the inspection was before making any offers. 

The Bottom Line 

An inspector will be looking at features of the property to evaluate the condition of the home. It is smart to be aware of the condition prior to closing to avoid extra costs later. If you have any questions during the process, contact your lender or real estate agent. 

Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in February 2021 and has been revamped entirely for updated accuracy and comprehensiveness.