6 Home Inspection Myths You Need to Know
Whether you’re in the market to buy a second home or buying for the first time, you need to have a home inspection done. Otherwise, you’re opening yourself up to the possibility of purchasing a lot of buyer’s remorse instead. Let’s set the record straight and separate fact from fiction on some common home inspection myths!
Myth No. 1: A home inspection is the same thing as a home appraisal
It’s easy to see why buyers and sellers get the home appraisal and the home inspection mixed up. Both involve an expert visiting the home, and it’s easy to think of both these visits as “inspections.” However, the basic difference is that the appraiser formulates an opinion of the property’s value for the lender, while the inspector educates the buyer about the condition of the home and its major components.
Myth No. 2: Home inspectors can advise you on whether to buy the house
It’s understandable that buyers would want to ask inspectors if they would buy the house they are inspecting. However, they can only tell you about the functioning portions of the house, not whether you should buy it. It’s an impossible question they are both unable and not permitted to answer, but a good inspector should give you enough information to make an educated decision on your own. Inspectors are also forbidden to weigh in on the home’s market value or its suitability for a given use.
Myth No. 3: It doesn’t matter which inspector you hire
Just because an inspector is licensed doesn’t mean they’re qualified, so it’s important to do your homework before making your pick. Your realtor is likely to give you the names of one or more home inspectors, and that’s a good place to start. Call and interview those inspectors, look at their websites and check out their reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook and Google. Mortgage professionals and any of your friends who recently bought homes are also other good sources for recommendations.
Myth No. 4: The inspector will uncover everything that’s wrong with the house
Home inspectors don’t have x-ray vision, so they won’t be able to see through walls. They do, however, have handy tools like electrical testers, infrared cameras and moisture meters in combination with well-trained eyes to detect dozens of clues about the condition of a house that buyers might otherwise overlook. It’s possible that the inspector can miss an undetectable issue, but it’s important to be realistic about what they will be able to learn and find during the inspection.
Myth No. 5: Buyers don’t need to come to the home inspection
Some buyers feel it isn’t necessary to attend the home inspection, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The biggest benefit of being present during a home inspection is the opportunity to hear explanations directly from the inspector’s mouth. If something isn’t clear or needs further explanation, the buyer can ask follow-up questions. Also, the inspector can share some handy maintenance tips and advice with you as they complete the inspection.
Myth No. 6: Brand-new or newly flipped homes don’t need to be inspected
Although it would seem that brand new or recently flipped homes should be relatively error-free, they often have underlying issues according to many inspectors. In fact, it’s possible to find incomplete projects like insufficient insulation, half-installed handrails or fixtures, or missing pieces of hardware. It’s also possible to find structural defects (i.e. foundation cracks, improper grading, and poor framing), drainage and grading issues, window leaks, HVAC issues, electrical problems and plumbing issues.
In addition to needing an expert home inspector, you also need an experienced loan officer when buying a home. Give us a call today to start your home buying journey!
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