Buying a house is probably the single largest investment you'll ever make, so you want to ensure you know exactly what you're getting with your hard-earned dollar. That is why it is crucial that home buyers schedule a professional home inspection.
The purpose of a home inspection is to reduce the risk of having to deal with unexpected defects in a house and to be aware of any issues that may currently need to be addressed. You will gain knowledge and familiarity with the home and determine whether or not it meets your expectations for a purchase.
In a "best case" scenario, the home inspection won't reveal any major deficiencies with the home, and you can move forward with your home purchase with the peace of mind that no visible major issues exist. However, the real value of a home inspection lies in your ability to discover any possible deficiencies before signing on the dotted line. It also allows you to factor that information into your home purchase decision.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a comprehensive visual examination of the physical structure of the property and working systems. It should cover the exterior of the building, all accessible structural components from the foundation to the rooftop and include a basic testing of the bathrooms, plumbing, heating, electrical, and ventilation systems. Based on the visual inspection of accessible features, it determines the present condition of the house, as well as its major systems. The procedure is usually done by a professional home inspector – someone who has undergone extensive trainings and certifications. After examining the home, the home inspector will prepare a detailed written report for the prospective buyer.
What should a home inspection cover?
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), here's the full list of what a certified home inspector will review:
Who pays for the home inspection and what is the cost?
Since a home inspection primarily benefits the home buyer, it's usually the buyer who pays for this service. Not only does it help them identify problems that are present in the house, it also gives them the assurance that the house they are interested in is worth investing in.
Costs will vary depending on the location and the property, but typically home buyers can expect to spend roughly $300-$600 for a home inspection of a single family home. All things considered, it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind it provides, and the negotiating power it can give you—especially if it indicates that there are major repairs required.
What happens after a home inspection?
If the home inspection report showed only minor problems, the home buying process should continue as planned. You can choose to give the seller (or the seller's Realtor) a list of minor issues to fix. After these repairs have been completed you may want to do your own walk-through inspection to make sure all the items on your list got fixed.
If your home inspector uncovers major concerns or safety/structural issues, you'll have a more important decision to make: Should you still buy the home?
If you decide to move forward, you'll need the following:
When do I schedule a home inspection?
When deciding to make an offer on a home, your Coastal NC Realty sales agent will assist you with scheduling a home inspection (subject to the homeowner's permission). Usually, this is done after submitting your offer to purchase: your agent will prepare a conditional offer that's contingent on a home inspection report that's acceptable to you as the buyer. This approach gives the buyer some distinct advantages: if the conditional offer is accepted, the property is temporarily held against other offers, yet you still have a legal escape route if the report reveals any major negative surprises. On the other hand, if the conditional offer isn't accepted, then the need to pay for a home inspection may never arise. Your real estate agent can advise you on the best approach to suit your individual situation.
Considering the amount of money you'll be spending, you should be very cautious before purchasing a property. This is why a home inspection is a vital part of a real estate transaction (and failing to get one can be disastrous). You want to make sure that the house you are buying is in good condition and won't need lots of time, money, and effort to repair.
Want to know whether a home is in need of significant repairs? A home inspection is your best bet to determine whether any of the major systems and components in the home will either cause you heartache or provide you years of enjoyment.
Regardless if you're a first-time home buyer or a seasoned homeowner, a professional home inspection is the only way to confidently understand the overall condition of the home you are considering. Before purchasing a home on the Outer Banks, speak with one of our local Outer Banks real estate agents—their expertise will guide you during the home buying process and connect you with trusted and experienced Outer Banks home inspection companies. Contact Coastal NC Realty today!