The Purpose Of A Home Inspection Before Buying

Some misconceptions regarding home inspections need to be addressed.

Home inspections can mean different things to different people, depending on who they are, what their needs may be, or even their job.

To start: Something they’re not. Inspections are not appraisals. House conditions may enter into the methodology used in appraisals, but that result is not an inspection report.

Appraisals are used to determine value. Depending on the needs, methods may vary but the result will be some type of dollar value. Inspections don’t do that.

Inspections look at the same house in a slightly different manner and write a different report for a completely different purpose. Both are important, but different, aspects of the real estate transaction.

Some folks are of a mind that an inspection is only a means to find faults with a home, allowing the buyer to negotiate a lower price. While that may occur, it is not the intention. The intention and scope of the inspection process is to provide information to the buyer regarding conditions of the house at the time of the inspection.

A buyer then uses the information to make an informed decision in the purchase process. Sometimes that means renegotiating the price. Other times, it means asking for repairs to be made. Sometime it means the buyer says, “This is great. Let’s buy it”. For others, it means walking away from the deal.

Some folks think the sale of a house in “as is” condition means an inspection is not allowed. Not true. In reality, it increases the need to know as much as possible what those conditions actually are, because there is no going back for repairs to be made.

All of these outcomes are decisions of the buyer, not the inspector. An inspector is there to provide information, not to make decisions. Inspections are not warranties for the house, either. Those can be purchased separately.

Some buyers think inspections cost too much money, especially on a tight budget. But think of the inspection fee this way: If you can’t afford a few hundred for an inspection, you definitely can’t afford an unexpected repair bill of a couple thousand dollars.

It’s simple: Don’t buy a house without an inspection. You need to know all you can About the House.

Visit when buying or selling your home.

Rob Kinsey has been a licensed builder for 30 years and is a home inspector with nearly 20 years of experience.


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