A home inspection is not required to get a loan. However, it is encouraged by your realtor. That’s because buying a house without having it inspected is like buying a used car without checking under the hood. (That goes for new construction, too.)
A good inspection will set you back around $500. However, if done properly, it can end up paying for itself later.
In most cases, a home inspection will find a few necessary repairs. As the buyer, you can ask the homeowners to have those issues fixed as part of negotiations. That is money right back in your pocket.
When looking for an inspector, you can ask your realtor. You might also consult with friends and family. The inspector should be someone with experience — ideally with homes in the neighborhood. For example, if the surrounding homes were constructed with aluminum wiring in the 1960s, the house you want to by probably was as well.
Attend the inspection if you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good inspector will be able to answer every question. He or she might also provide advice on long-term home maintenance. Do some research on the immediate area so that you’ll know whether it has a history of flooding during heavy rains, if termites are common, and so on. A thorough home inspection should include:
- A room-by-room review.
- Exterior home components (especially the roof, gutters and windows).
- Electrical systems (wiring, outlets, fixtures).
- Foundation and structural components (interior and exterior).
- Heating and air conditioning, including duct system.
- Plumbing systems (all toilets, drains, sinks, septic tank, etc.).
- A radon detection test.
- Attic and basement or crawl space.
If the home is older, you may need to look into hiring an HVAC specialist, plumber or electrician. Have them do a more thorough review of the home.
A home inspection costs you money now, but it can truly save you money down the road.
Check out all of our posts in our home buying and selling series!
The blog and its opinions are expressly that of its author and does not convey the opinions or strategies of the Credit Union and should not be considered financial advice. CommunityAmerica’s Mortgage offers are subject to credit approval and terms may vary based on conditions.