As of today, interest rates have skyrocketed to 4.07 percent, increasing the cost of a $500,000 mortgage to about $2,400 per month. When you consider how many homebuyers are already priced out of the market, that’s not a small chunk of change.
So when you find a home you love at a price you can actually afford, you’ll do pretty much anything in your power not to lose it. Right? We hear you, but one thing you should absolutely not do in your haste to seal the deal on your dream home is forgo a home inspection.
It may not seem like a big deal, especially when you’re competing with multiple buyers for the same house, but waiving the option to have a home inspection contingency in your contract can, and probably will, come back to haunt you in a major way. Here’s a closer look at what can go wrong in both old and new homes, and how a home inspection can help you stay one step ahead.
Why you should get a home inspection on an older house
It’s hard not to fall in love with an older home. One look at those beautiful, original hardwood floors and we’re head over heels. But unless you have the expertise to know what problems may lie beneath said floors, in the walls, or up in the attic, you might be walking into a world of trouble.
Sellers love it when they hear a serious, motivated buyer has decided to forgo a home inspection. They basically get to throw up their hands and say, “Take it or leave it!” and are off the hook for any problems that aren’t immediately noticeable. But whether a home is five years old or fifty five years old, there’s always a chance an undetected problem will rear its ugly (and expensive) head in the coming years. That is, unless you get the lowdown before you sign on the dotted line.
Most often, water is enemy number one. Water damage can cause foundation movement, cracking or settlement, rot, and toxic mold. In most cases, these issues need to be diagnosed by the trained eye of a professional home inspector. Likewise, old roofing material can be tricky to see from the ground. An inspector will thoroughly check out the condition of the roof and look for signs of premature aging or previous sloppy repairs. Faulty electrical wiring and exposed wires are another big problem home inspectors see in older houses. An inspection and subsequent rewiring of the home could prevent a house fire.
Should you get a home inspection for a new house?
Given the wear and tear on older homes, it makes sense to get a home inspection in case something serious is lurking where you can’t see it. But just because a home is new or almost new doesn’t mean it’s immune to structural and systemic problems.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more than 3,000 components are used in constructing a house. These thousands of components were probably installed by about 20 different contractors, each with a handful of employees working beneath him or her. In all likelihood, there could have been more than 100 people working on the house you’re about to buy. Who’s to say at least one of them didn’t install or wire something improperly?
When building a new construction home, the American Society of Home Inspectors recommends homebuyers order three inspections from a third-party inspector: prior to the pouring of the foundation, prior to insulation and drywall, and prior to the final walk-through. If you’re buying a home that’s been lived in for a year or two, an inspection can point out any issues that were present at the time of construction, or that have popped up after a few snowy winters.
So, is a home inspection really necessary?
Yes! Whether you’re buying a home in Breckenridge that was built in 1970 or 2017, having a home inspection contingency in your offer can prevent major headaches down the road. If your home inspector finds a problem in the foundation or roof, for example, you can return to the negotiating table with a lower purchase price or ask the seller to make the repairs prior to closing.
If this sounds complicated, don’t worry. When you work with us at Dwell Summit, we’ll walk you through every step of the home buying process. This includes the home inspection and negotiating a fair price to make up for any necessary repairs. When you’re ready to start your search, give us a call! We can’t wait to show you some of the gorgeous properties on the market this spring.