There’s a reason mortgage closings tend to take a long time. Not only does your lender have to verify your financial information and have the home you’re buying appraised, but you’ll also need to have that home inspected to ensure it’s in the shape you think it’s in.
Now technically, a home inspection is something that you, as a buyer, have the right to waive. But doing so could be a poor choice.
If there are issues lurking within the home you’re trying to buy, not knowing about them could put you in a situation where you close on that property and then get stuck footing a large repair bill. A better bet is to have that inspection done and, if possible, be there to ask questions along the way.
Here are a few major problems that a home inspection could reveal.
1. A roof that’s seen better days
A damaged roof can put your home’s interior at risk of flood damage. Plus, roofs can be expensive to repair or replace.
2. Water damage
In some cases, water damage itself isn’t such a deal breaker. It’s the reason behind it that can be a problem. A leaky roof or poorly fitted piping could be the cause of water damage, and in some cases, those problems can cost a lot to fix.
Mold isn’t just ugly to look at. It can also cause major health problems if left untreated. But mold remediation can be costly. In some cases, it can involve having to rip out walls or cabinets, making it complex work.
4. Out-of-date wiring and electrical work
An electrical system that isn’t up to code could constitute a hazard. And it could also cause problems that impact your daily quality of life. Upgrading electrical systems can be expensive, though, so it’s something you’ll want to know about.
5. A failing heating or air conditioning system
Heating and air conditioning systems can cost a lot to replace. If either of your home’s systems is on its way out, that could result in a major bill.
6. Termite damage
There are a number of different signs that indicate terminate damage, like buckling wood and uneven flooring. Termite damage can be expensive to address, as can tackling the root of the problem — getting rid of the termites themselves.
7. Foundation damage
A damaged foundation could compromise the integrity of your home. Signs like uneven flooring and cracks in walls and ceilings can point to foundation issues, but those signs might be subtle, which is why you need an inspector to come in and look out for them.
What to do if your home inspection reveals major issues
It’s one thing for a home inspector to uncover minor issues with the property you’re buying. But if any of the above problems are identified, you’ll need to work with your seller to address them.
Your seller may agree to fix the issues at hand before the sale of the home is finalized. Or, your seller might agree to take money off of the purchase price of your home so you can fix those issues yourself.
If your seller refuses to do anything about the problems uncovered by a home inspection, you’ll generally have the right to walk away from the deal at hand. Most real estate contracts come with a home inspection contingency that allows you to do this, but you may want to consult your attorney before going this route.
Either way, it’s important to have that inspection done before buying your home. Tempting as it may be to skip it, doing so could subject you to a world of problems — and a lot of lost money.