A home inspection is one of the most important steps in the homebuying process. This type of inspection will provide a potential homebuyer with valuable insight into the condition of their future residence and should not be overlooked or waived.

Home inspections are not appraisalsinspector inspecting a home

Unlike a home appraisal, an inspection doesn’t put a value on the home. Instead, it tells the buyer what issues may or may not be prevalent in their potential new home. If an inspection report finds unsafe materials or conditions, a buyer can choose to either:

  • Renegotiate the sales price
  • Not proceed with the purchase
  • Ask the owner to make repairs
  • Request seller credits

Inspections evaluate the home’s condition

A complete home inspection is an evaluation of the home’s condition. They are usually performed during real estate transactions but can be done at any time. Inspectors will review the following aspects of a property:

  • Roof
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Electrical and appliance systems
  • Plumbing
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Exterior and interior walls
  • Chimneys, doors, and windows

Items that are generally not part of the inspector’s review include:

  • Cosmetic features
  • Outbuildings
  • Swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas
  • Systems such as telephone, cable TV, alarms, or lawn watering devices

Inspections are performed by a licensed professional

A licensed home inspector is typically hired by the homebuyer but can also be hired by the seller for a pre-sale inspection. Depending on the situation, buyers may want an independent home inspection by a professional inspector before they make an offer on the property. In competitive markets, you may feel pressured to skip the inspection, but this is usually not in the buyer’s best interest. Work with your real estate agent on the best option for you.

When making a financial decision this large, it’s best to check in with your local lender as well to help you understand your options in the current market. We’re here to help!

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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.