Home inspections aren’t limited to the realm of “fixer-upper” houses, and they certainly aren’t limited to the process of buying and selling homes. Homeowners wisely get their homes inspected to get a jump on home maintenance and avoid costly repairs. Learning about the condition of your future or current house by consulting a professional is well worth it. You can minimize unpleasant surprises as you make a house your home, learn about preventative care, and gain negotiating power whether purchasing or selling.

To the window, to the wall

A home inspector will objectively access the entire house from the foundation to the roof. They will write up a report regarding the state of the roof, attic and insulation, windows, doors, floors ceilings and walls, basement, heating and cooling systems, electrical and plumbing systems, and structural elements. A home inspector can save you a lot of money spent on high cost hidden repairs and Tylenol.

New construction inspections

Anybody serious about buying a home should get it inspected whether it’s a fixer upper or new construction built to code. There are many horror stories of hidden damages lurking in a house that gets purchased by an unsuspecting couple. The image below shows two the air conditioning units right next to each other that are required to be at least 24 inches apart.

Sadly, this ridiculous new construction was passed by the city inspectors. Things like this happen all the time, and without a proper inspection would remain undetected until it is too late. Buying a house is a major investment, possibly the biggest one you will ever make. Why not try to be as informed as possible?

The game of negotiating

Once you decide on a home and negotiate a price, your real estate agent will draw up a sales contract. Make sure your contract has a clause that makes the sale dependent on a home inspection. Hopefully the seller has already had the home inspected and disclosed all of the problems with the house. This will not be the case if it is new construction, and you will need to rely heavily on your home inspector’s report. In a perfect world, the seller would work the cost of repairing any issues with the house into his asking price, but again the world is far from perfect (and the same can be found for many houses).

If a home inspector does find major problems that it seems the seller conveniently left out, you will have leverage on the course of action. The seller can choose to quickly arrange for the repairs to be made or lower the price considerably.

Home maintenance and responsibility

If you bought your home without the guiding hand of a home inspection report, all is not lost. You can still (and should still) get it inspected to prevent the many problems that can be waiting to present themselves in a costly fashion.

Choose an inspector based on their credentials rather than price. Get a few recommendations from a realtor and conduct interviews so you can make the right choice for you. While they are expensive, a home is more than a big financial investment – it’s an investment in your future.

Buyers of New Construction to Current Homeowners: Check it Out before You Cut a Check

Preston Sandlin

Preston Sandlin is owner and founder of Home Inspection Carolina in Charlotte, NC. He has over 15 years of experience in the home inspection industry, performing thousands of structural/mechanical inspections from 600 sq. ft. condominiums to over 60,000 sq. ft. commercial buildings. Preston is a proud member of the NC Licensed Home Inspector Association and the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association.

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