Your home is one of your most expensive and important investments you'll ever make. When purchasing one, you should have a home inspection performed to protect that investment. Home inspectors look for defects and safety hazards in homes that may affect the home's value. If there are too many defects or safety hazards found in the home, the home's value may decrease, in turn, impacting your lender's desire to fund the loan.

The Benefits of a Home Inspection  

Benjamin Franklin once said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", as in it's easier to discover an issue with a home ahead of time and address it than it is to fix it in the future when it's more costly to do so. Every real estate agent should recommend their buyers have a home inspection performed as it has financial and safety benefits. The obvious benefit of hiring a professional is to discover all material defects in the home. It's also a safety issue as they'll discover structural, electrical and plumbing issues that may cause a hazardous situation.  

Who Orders a Home Inspection?

Once you have a fully executed contract to purchase a home, you will have the opportunity to have a home inspection performed. The contract will have an allowable time-frame in which to do so. The buyer orders the home inspection and pays for it. Your real estate agent may have a list of professional home inspectors to choose from. Home inspections usually cost between $300 to $500, depending on the size or square footage of the home. A home inspection is worth every penny because you may have some recourse if any defects of safety hazards are found.

What if Defects are Found?

Your home inspector will provide you with a written home inspection report usually a day or so after the home inspection takes place. It's important to be patient because it is to your advantage that your home inspector reports every single material defect and safety hazard found in the home. A quality professional will include photos of the issues found in the home. You will have the opportunity to negotiate with the sellers in regards to the defects and safety hazards that are found; your real estate agent can guide you through this part of the process. If you hire an attorney to represent you during your home purchase, he can write a letter to the sellers requesting that the issues be addressed. You can request that the sellers repair and/or replace the defects and safety hazards. You can also ask the sellers to provide you with a monetary credit so you can have the repairs made after closing on the home.

Home inspections help protect home values. If the home you are purchasing has too many defects, it may not be worth as much as the contract price states. Also, some mortgage loans won't be approved if there are certain defects present in the home. A home inspection is a great advantage to buyers. It affords you the opportunity to renegotiate the deal to ensure you are getting what you're paying for. A home inspection will save you money, stress and time in the long run.