Home Inspections: 9 Myths Home Buyers Shouldn’t Believe
Once you find the perfect house, get pre-approved with home financing, and picture how you are going to design the house, you sit and wait for the seller to accept your offer—and finally he or she does. You think you are done with the whole process and the home can finally be yours, but unfortunately, there is one more step: the home inspection, which is actually the most important step of the entire home purchasing process. In fact, the home inspection can literally make or break your sale.
The home inspection is designed to inspect the home and determine if there are any issues with the home. However, there may be some false assumptions regarding how home inspectors work. The whole process can be a bit confusing and overwhelming, which is why we have taken the liberty of debunking some of common myths regarding home inspections. Read on to learn more.
Myth #1: Home Inspections and Home Appraisals Are the Same Thing
In all honesty, a home inspection and a home appraisal couldn’t be more different. The goal of an appraiser is to determine a home’s value on behalf of a lending establishment. A home inspector, on the other hand, is interested in the home’s safety rather than the value. Therefore, if a seller provides a potential buyer with a glowing appraisal, you should not assume that you don’t need a home inspection.
Myth #2: Home Inspectors Can Inform You Whether to Purchase the Home
When it comes to home inspectors, it is not their field of expertise to tell you whether you to buy a home or not. Their field of expertise is to let you know about how the house functions. Also, it is important to keep in mind that inspectors are completely impartial, regardless of the fact that the majority of inspections are performed at the request of the buyer. If you believe that an inspection is designed to assist the buyer with negotiations, you should think twice.
Myth #3: You Can Hire Any Home Inspector
There are 30 states in the United States that require home inspectors to be licensed. However, even inspectors that must be licensed have different levels of certification or training, so it is up to you (the buyer) to locate a capable professional. Keep in mind that just because an inspector is licensed it does not mean that they are capable of performing the job—it just simply means that they have met the minimum requirements to obtain the license to complete the job.
Take the time and do your due diligence by obtaining referrals from homeowners, agents, and associations. Then, check those references thoroughly before you hire an inspector.
Myth #4: Home Inspectors Are Able to Uncover EVERYTHING Wrong with the House
As much as you may want them to be able to them, home inspectors are simply unable to check every part of the home. They don’t have X-ray vision, nor are they Ant-Man and can fit between every nook and cranny. Instead, inspectors are just guests in the home of the seller, limiting their ability of what they are able to do. Walls can’t be torn down and things can’t be ripped apart to determine where a noise is coming from. Inspectors perform a visual inspection of readily accessible parts of the home. However, inspectors do have some special tools that they can use like moisture meters and infrared cameras that give them the capability of gathering additional information. Of course, it is important that buyers are realistic in the amount of information that inspectors are able to gather and the data that they will receive in the report.
For instance, let’s say that you are purchasing a home during the dead middle of winter. A home inspector is not going to be able to properly inspect the roof if it is has several feet of snow on it. Rather, they will be able to look at the attic sheathing to identify potential signs of leakage.
Myth #5: Buyers Shouldn’t Tag Along for the Home Inspection
Regardless of whether you know a thing about home maintenance and construction, as a buyer, you should be at the home inspection. It allows you to get a 3D view of the inspection, and it gives the inspector a chance to go more in-depth about what he or she sees. Also, it gives you a chance to ask questions—and inspectors want you to do this, especially as a first-time home buyer. Sure, inspectors can’t tell you whether to purchase a house or not, but they are able to provide you with some advance regarding home maintenance.
Myth #6: Brand-New Houses Don’t Require Home Inspections
If there is a defect in the construction, it can result in numerous repair-related nightmares down the road. Therefore, it is imperative that even brand-new homes be checked out by inspectors. In fact, it may be even more important for them to be checked—carefully and thoroughly. It is easy to see signs of leaks, mold, etc.—things that occur over an extended period of time. With a brand-new house, though, no one has used the appliances, making it difficult to notice those things.
Myth #7: Flipped Houses Don’t Require Inspection Either
When a house has to be completely redone from the ground up, an inspection isn’t necessary, right? Oh, please! Sadly, many house flippers are more concerned with saving money rather than safety. So, you want to ensure that the home has had the proper building permits and that the remodeling work has been verified by a home inspector.
Myth #8: Home Inspectors Can See into the Future
It isn’t uncommon for homeowners to requests information about how long appliances in the home will last, such as HVAC systems. However, home inspectors are unable to predict the future. With a home inspection, you are able to get information like the age and useful life of appliances, but a home inspection is unable to tell you when a fuse is going to go out on an electrical panel or when a plumbing leak may occur. A home inspector can tell you that a certain appliance will need to be replaced in the near future. Ideally, you should simply budget for 1 percent of the home’s value for home maintenance.
Myth #9: A Good Home Will Pass a Home Inspection
When you receive a home inspection report, it will not say whether the home passes or fails. This is due to the fact that the home passes or fails based on YOUR individual assumption/tolerance. What may be acceptable to you may not be acceptable to another buyer, causing him or her to walk away from the purchase. The home inspector is simply there to determine whether the home is safe, but it is up to—as the buyer—to determine whether you can live with the problems that the home has. If you can, then the home passes your test, and that’s what matters in the end.
For more information on home inspections, give us a call at Southern Valley Services.