What's in a home inspection?
When it comes to purchasing a home, there can be a lot of confusion about the various steps within that process. However, the one that seems to perplex potential buyers the most, is the home inspection. It seems that a lot of my buyers have the same questions, “What will the inspector look at? What is out of their scope? Is it even worth shelling out the money for an optional service? Do I really have to pay for ANOTHER thing?” All of these are valid concerns, and no situation is the same, but here’s what you need to know:
When some buyers think of a home inspection, the first thing that comes to mind is a contractor combing over every inch of the house finding any and all imperfections. This is far from the case. A home inspection is a VISUAL overview only, by a licensed inspector. Now this is not to say they are not thorough. The inspector will look over the exterior, interior, plumbing, electrical, foundation, roof, windows, crawl space, and everything else easily accessible in the home. During this process the inspector will be compiling an inspection report which they will go over with you detailing anything they found wrong with the home, and the area’s in which no issues were detected by them. Depending on the size and amount of problems found within the home, this report can be as small as 15 pages, or as comprehensive as 50.
Now with the inspection complete, the report gets officially delivered to the buyer and their realtor. It is then that the realtor prepares what is called an "inspection response". This is just a request of repairs the buyer would like performed in order to continue with the purchase. These requests tend to focus on major safety concerns and defects. Now these requests are negotiable and the seller and their agent can choose to do one of the following in response:
Agree to fix all the issues listed
Agree to fix some, but not all of the issues
Agree to fix none of the issues, also known as selling a home as-is
Agree to offer a credit to the buyer for repairs
Agree to lower the price
Every situation is different, so there is no one response that is more beneficial than another. The buyer will go over the response with their realtor to decide whether to accept, counter, or walk away from the deal completely. This step really is the second “hurdle” in the homebuying process as it can make or break the deal. If the deal is going to fall apart, usually it is during this inspection period either due to the seller not being willing or able to make the repairs necessary, or the buyers making requests that are simply unreasonable. The seller is not going to bankroll a new bathroom allowing you to pick the designs, or put on an entirely new roof where one patch needs repair and let you roll out whatever shingle color you desire. And yes, those are real requests I have come across. Needless to say, those deals were not able to be completed.
There is not a single situation in which I would suggest not receiving a home inspection. Even the most seasoned home buyer is going to overlook something a trained professional will see every single every time. By deciding not to pay the $300-$600, it could end up costing you 10x over what the seller could have simply repaired for you. That is not a sound start to any investment. Even if nothing does come back on the inspection report, you can sleep well at night knowing you are getting a solid home. With that being said though, home inspectors are human and they do make mistakes and occasionally miss something. This is why it is important to select someone who is competent, and trusted within the community. If you live in Northwest Indiana, then we can help. These men are the best in the business:
Mark Kincheloe with On the Mark inspections 219 712-9876
Mike Bostic with MB inspections 219-405-3404
Tim James with Pillar to Post Home Inspections 219 898-4357
If you have any questions about home inspections, I am always available at (219) 218-1181. It would be my pleasure to assist your family at any stage of the home buying or selling process.