When you’re in the market for a home, have that dream home inspected by a qualified professional home inspector. Why? Because a home inspector will give you a report on the overall condition of the home. You’ll get an in depth, unbiased perspective you can’t get from a walk through with your real estate agent.
A home inspection evaluates the overall physical condition of the home, including the structure, the overall construction, as well as the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. Your inspector’s report will Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems and equipment. It will also help identify things in need of repair or replacement.
Remember this very important point. An appraisal and a home inspection are two different things. Appraisals are for lenders. They are required to estimate the value of the home and make sure it is marketable. Appraisals are used to make sure the house meets minimum property standards and requirements if it is an FHA loan.
On the other hand, the home inspection is meant for you, the prospective buyer. You’ll get a report that serves as a snapshot of the home’s condition. It’s not designed to be a list of negatives, but rather is intended to give you an objective outlook to help you in your decision making process as you consider whether to buy the home.
The report is not a pass or fail grade card, but gives you facts you need. It also isn’t supposed to favor the home’s seller or buyer. It should tell you the home’s strengths and weaknesses. It should be the home inspector’s goal to report what he finds with objectivity and fairness.
What if the home inspector finds problems with the home? You may be wondering, if you are buying the home with FHA financing, does FHA guarantee the value and condition of the home? In a word, No. Keep this in mind. If you find problems with your new home after closing, FHA can not give or lend you money for repairs. They also can not buy the home back from you. This underscores the importance of getting a thorough and independent home inspection done on the home before you decide to buy.
There’s another critical point to consider. Don’t accept a report from a previous inspection of the home. A fresh home inspection must be done to insure the home’s condition is reported accurately for you.
Though your agent may seem like a hero for saving you money when passing along a report from a previous inspection, he’s really being unethical. Home inspection reports are confidential material for the buyer who ordered the inspection. Furthermore, things change, and the report likely doesn’t reflect the true condition of the home at the time you want to buy it.
Suppose you rely in a previously done inspection when you buy and move into your home. Then what if the roof leaks or the air conditioner doesn’t cool properly? You’re stuck with major repairs due to lack of proper documentation. This wouldn’t have been an issue if you had a new home inspection done. Perhaps systems worked fine during the previous inspection. If so, the inspector can’t be held at fault. Furthermore, the problem is compounded because you weren’t the one who hired the inspector to begin with.
Seeking relief from your real estate agent is awkward because he supposedly did you a favor. Yet he provided the report improperly. If the previous prospective buyer hears of this, she’ll be upset and feel betrayed by the agent because she paid for the inspection, and the agent broke confidentiality. This is bad for business when such relationships depend on trust.
Until you receive an inspector’s report from a fresh inspection, the information you need for making your buying decision is incomplete and perhaps inaccurate. By hiring a home inspector to do a new home inspection, you’re actually looking out for your own best interest.