Inspecting anything before you complete a purchase is a good idea. For example, you can use a magnetic particle testing device to check that the metal surface is free from defects. Or, you can have an independent mechanic check a car for you before you decide to purchase it.
But, while most people see the sense in this, many people neglect to consider an inspection when they’re buying a house.
So, do you need one?
The surprising answer is that in most cases, a home inspection is not a requirement. Of course, there will be exceptions but these are generally rare. If you’re purchasing a property with a mortgage then the mortgage company will want an appraisal completed. However, the purpose of this is simply to ensure the mortgage company has the right value for your home. This means they can sell it and get their money back if needed.
Should I Have a Home Inspection?
Just because your mortgage company doesn’t require it, doesn’t mean that you should say no to one. The home inspection will look at the structural integrity of a property and identify any potential issues. It should also review the electrics, gas, and the wood frame of the house.
The inspector will be looking for signs of movement or pest damage. The sole purpose of an inspector is to verify that the house is safe to live in and doesn’t have any potentially dangerous features. This inspection should give you peace of mind when purchasing.
However, if it does discover any issues you’ll need to contact the seller again to adjust the price according to the greater risk you’re taking on and the increase in stress and hassle.
Be aware that not all sellers will move on price. That means you’ll have to be prepared to get quotes for the cost of the repairs and then decide if it’s a viable option or if you are better to walk away from the purchase. As heartbreaking as this can be it’s better than living n a house that’s falling down around you.
It’s worth noting that you can do some checks yourself. A viewing will generally last 30 minutes, you can use this time to check the windows and doors open and close smoothly. You should also look for signs of mold, especially at the skirting board level, this is a sign of damp and if they’ve tried to paint it over then they could be hiding something worse.
You should also lift a corner of the carpet if possible to check for damp or rotten floorboards. If you say damage but it's nothing too serious, you can always rely on your local floor repair experts to help you restore the condition of the flooring material. In addition, you should have the time to check the water is running and see how long it takes to get hot water to a given faucet. At the same time visually inspect the plumbing for rust or obvious signs of leaks.
You can also test light switches and inspect the inside and the outside of the house for cracks. There’s a lot you can learn just walking around without the home inspector, but it’s still worth getting the professional for reassurance.