Learn the “True Value” of the Home.
The value of a home on the market is always a BIG question. Many parts make up listing the value of a home such as the home’s location, size, market comparisons, luxury items, and of course deficiencies. What do we mean by deficiencies? Basically, any negatively impacting issue with the home. A new roof, rotted siding, or a malfunctioning water heater are deficiencies. These defects and other valuable information are found during a home inspection. What you as the buyer gets to decide (unless you waived your right to a home inspection #badidea) is whether that listed value of the home is still right for you after the inspection. This is your True Value. The value of the home as you see it.
Here is an example: A home is listed for $200,000. You put in your offer and a few days later you have your home inspection done. You learn that the seller did not disclose that the home needed a new roof and the boiler was installed in 1952. They didn’t disclose this information because they didn’t know it needed a new roof and didn’t realize the boiler was a dinosaur and should be updated. You now get to decide whether that asking price is right for you, or maybe you want to ask for a reduction! (Here is where having a great real estate agent comes in to play also!). Buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your life. Make sure you have the right people on your side!
Gain the ear of a Qualified Inspector.
During and after the home inspection, you get the opportunity to ask the inspector as many questions as you can about the home. A great inspector will want you to walk around the property with them as they conduct the inspection. This your chance to talk his or her ear off and pick their brain about questions like, Can I rip down that wall to join these rooms?, what kind of maintenance should be done on that oil burning boiler?, or why is there green stuff growing on the roof? Most home inspectors have a background in the building trades, and some of the great ones will even give you some rough ideas on the cost of upgrades and repairs, but you need to ask! Just like the saying goes, the only dumb question is the one that you didn’t ask. Take advantage of the ear of the inspector while you can. You also need to do your homework before you hire an inspector. You need to have the confidence in the person that is giving you these answers, or there may be a chance you are getting the wrong answers. Not all inspectors are the same.
Feel confident in your investment.
Your home purchase is not only the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime but also the largest INVESTMENT. Buying an overpriced home that has tons of deficiencies is a nightmare that will keep you up for years to come. Buying a home can already be stressful and expensive so watching someone buying a home without getting a home inspection is like watching someone stick their hand in an alligator’s open mouth. You are just waiting for the worst to happen. Instead, put your mind at ease. Have an inspector on your side when making the purchase of a lifetime. Learn as much as possible about the home before you sign. Hire a great real estate agent as well as a great home inspector and you will feel a lot more confident and at ease throughout the whole process. Knowledge is power, and power builds confidence. Feel confident about the future of your home purchase!
Will Dinsmore, Licensed Inspector and Owner of NH Home Inspector LLC