Home Inspection – How It Benefits The Buyer, Investor And Seller

It is important to understand that a home inspection can be very valuable to both the seller and the buyer of a home. For obvious reasons the home inspection is valuable to the buyer as the inspector will point out any serious defects in the home as well as the overall condition of the home before the home is purchased.

First off, let me explain what a home inspection actually consists of for those who are a little unclear.

A home inspection is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home such as the plumbing system, electrical system, roof, etc. Most importantly a home inspection can usually detect any structural problems with a house. Structural concerns include the foundation, exterior wall system, interior load bearing walls, floor system and roof system. Problems with any of these items can result in substantial repair costs.

This inspection report can also be valuable to a seller. If a seller has a home inspection preformed before they list the house, the seller will have a “heads up” on any defects in their home. They may elect to fix some or all of defects so they will not become an issue to the new buyer prior to closing. And most times the seller will get things repaired or replaced at a cost much lower than when the buyers look for repair credits before the closing.

Home inspections are just as important for real estate investors (who become sellers), who buy houses in “as-is” condition. Even though many investors can see most of the things that need repair, and know the house needs fixing, they tend to overlook some of the issues that need repair and don’t figure it into their cost estimate. Then they are faced with the repairs at closing. A favorable inspection report can give you the added comfort that you are not buying your next nightmare!

I suggest investors (as well as any seller) get a home inspection report as it will help identify all the issues that need to be addressed. Then, the investor can use that report to show the contractor what needs to be replaced, fixed or repaired. And it’s the little (and sometimes the not so little) things that investors miss or overlook that can add up and also hold up a closing.

Things such as, grading and drainage issues causing water penetration into the house or from down spouts not properly angled away from the foundation. Also missing fascia boards (boards nailed across the ends of roof rafters at the eaves), missing or damaged eves and soffits. And don’t forget the plumbing, water heater and appliance vents, water pressure, electrical capacity, etc. See, many things most of us never think about.

If you think about it, you are paying someone to do a fairly comprehensive diagnostic test on the home. To tell you all the things you are not trained to find.

So I say, why not know about any defects and repair items BEFORE you buy or put the house up for sale.

When ever the word “safety” or “hazard” comes up in a home inspection report, everyone’s antenna goes up! Having the report and repairing the necessary items before the buyers get their home inspection will drastically reduce the amount of items being found by the buyer’s home inspection.

And if you are an investor, you could have gotten the repairs completed for a minimal fee as your contractor is working in the house anyway doing the renovation work. After the renovation is completed and the workers are gone and you need to get them back, it usually will cost much more as now they are coming for a “new job”. So why not address those repair issues before time. It makes sense to me!

Now bear in mind, you can sometimes have twenty “suggested” items to be addressed. When twenty or so of these small items are put on the report, this leads to buyers getting scared, and or the buyers asking for big credits and costing you much more money.

In summary, if you are buying a home, selling a home or if you are investing in a home, a home inspection report by a licensed home inspection company will open your eyes to any and all defects that could become an issue when you go to sell or flip the house. My opinion is that a home inspection is worth the small fee that is charged. Most states have adopted standards of practice from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI.)

Oh, one last thing. Always get a termite inspection. Some home inspection companies are licensed to offer this service as well. But I always like to get the termite inspection by someone who can actually perform any necessary treatment.