First-time homebuyers are required to shell out a significant amount of funds for the down payment and closing costs. Moreover, there are instances when homebuyers need to pay for additional services to ensure that they’re making the right decision to buy a home. A home inspection, for example, is an important part of the homebuying process that every homebuyer should prioritize, especially when buying an older home.
Ensure the home gets a thorough inspection before closing
Just recently, a couple from Rosedale, Maryland found themselves devasted after they discovered that the home they bought for $178,000 was infested by termites. The infestation severely weakened the home’s wood support beams, and the couple felt that it’s no longer safe to live in the property. Upon contacting their agent, the homeowners learned that there was no termite inspection done because the lender didn’t require it. The agent also told the couple through a text message that the home inspector did not suggest to termite inspection.
First-time homebuyers should know that lenders typically require a home appraisal to determine the value of a home. Although appraisals can give homebuyers an idea of the value and some potential problems of the home they are about to buy, the appraisers might overlook other hidden home problems like termite infestations. Appraisals are usually done for the benefit of the lenders, not the homebuyers. It’s critical for first-time homebuyers to hire an independent home inspector for them to thoroughly determine if there are existing or potential problems in the home they’re going to buy.
The typical cost of hiring an independent home inspector
Homebuyers need to consider a third-party home inspector even if their lenders don’t require it. Depending on the size of a home, the average cost for an inspection could go around between $300 to $500. A professional inspector will notify prospective homebuyers if there are potential problems or hidden defects in the home’s foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical wirings, HVAC systems, insulations and other parts of the home that a typical appraiser will not see. Home inspectors work for the benefit of homebuyers simply because it is the homebuyers who contract them independently.
Pest inspection, like a termite inspection, is another separate inspection that could cost a homebuyer around a hundred dollars or more. Some contractors package termite inspections in the home inspection services they offer. Hiring a home inspector for an inspection that includes a termite inspection could save homebuyers from expensive repair costs. Like the Maryland couple, they believe that repairing the termite damage may cost them more than $100,000.
Helpful home inspection tips for homebuyers
The story of the Maryland couple who unknowingly bought a termite-infested home only proves the importance of education in the homebuying process, particularly about having third-party home inspections.
It’s advisable for homebuyers to look for a reputable professional home inspector. Aside from checking online reviews, homebuyers may also ask their friends or relatives for any recommendations so that they can immediately schedule the independent home inspection. Some homebuyers even want to see for themselves the actual home inspection and there are several good reasons for doing so. Homebuyers not only familiarize themselves in the property while inspectors do their job, but they can also ask questions and get candid opinions from inspectors. Homebuyers could also immediately raise their concerns if they think an inspector overlooked something.
Having an independent home inspection is one of the most important steps in the homebuying process every first-time homebuyer should consider even if a lender doesn’t require it. A home inspection will let homebuyers know if there are other hidden problems, like a termite infestation in the home they are buying that an appraiser would not notice. Finally, homebuyers may either negotiate for a lower price or simply walk away from a home that would require costly repairs.