Moving can be so exciting but so stressful! You have to add so many things to your to-do list, such as packing and unpacking and hiring a moving truck. While you’re working on ensuring a smooth move-in process, you may also be wondering whether you need a home inspection. Well, it’s a good thing you’re even considering it because a home inspection is an essential step if you’re planning to move soon. There are many reasons why you need a home inspection and why you shouldn’t skip this step. Below, we will consider the top reasons why you need a home inspection. We will also look at how to prepare for a home inspection, what’s included in a home inspection checklist, and if you can perform a home inspection on your own.
Uncover Hidden Problems
The number one reason why you need a home inspection is that it’s easy to fall in love with a home. Perhaps you love the open floor plan or the entire layout of the home. When you first check out a home, these are the sort of things you’re sure to notice, but there are plenty of other details you may not be blind to. For instance, you may not be aware of the leaky roof that’s badly in need of a roofing service or the mold problem that’s festering beneath the surface. These are just some of the reasons why you need a home inspection.
The whole point is to be able to look past the surface and the aesthetics and make sure that there are no hidden problems. The last thing you want is to move into a home that looks like it’s in excellent shape, only to discover that what’s underneath isn’t as good-looking. When you hire a home inspector, they will look into all the places that matter to uncover hidden problems that you might not have found on your own. If you want to move into a good home, realize that you should look past the curb appeal to get the bigger picture.
Protect Yourself From Liability
If you’re moving into a new rental, you may be required to pay a security deposit before your lease term as a tenant begins. The security deposit is designed to lower the landlord’s risk in the event that you damage the property. It will cover the cost of repairing the damage beyond any wear and tear. This brings us to the next reason why you need a home inspection. In case you decide to move down the line, you must have proof that you didn’t cause any damage to the property if you want to claim your security deposit.
Doing a rental move-in inspection means you can have a clear idea of which damage existed before moving in. You’ll be able to take care of the unit, knowing fully well which areas you’re accountable for. That means all parties will be accountable for any damage that occurs, whether that’s the landlord or you, the tenant. By having the move-in inspection, you can ensure a smooth move-out at the end of the lease term. Your landlord will have an itemized list, and this will save you from being liable for any damages, resulting in security deposit deductions. Your security deposit will not be wrongly withheld to fix things in the property that you didn’t damage.
Get Issues Fixed Before Moving In
When you’re about to move in, time is of the essence, and it’s better to have a move-in inspection before you take up residency. That’s because once you’re an occupant, it’s more difficult to get issues fixed. For instance, let’s say you’re moving into a rental unit. That means it’s difficult to pinpoint what existing damage there was. Your landlord may not believe that HVAC repair was needed before you moved in because sometimes, there’s a lot of potential for things to get damaged during the process of moving in. The original condition of the property could change, and there will be no proof of any existing damage, and the landlord might not be motivated to make the necessary repairs in any case.
Even when you’re moving into a home you’ve recently purchased, one of the reasons why you need a home inspection is it will highlight all the repairs you need to make. Whether you need to hire a concrete repair or void filling service, you don’t have to disrupt your lifestyle if you make all the necessary arrangements ahead of time. The last thing you need is to find temporary accommodation to get out of the way so that major repairs can get done.
Save Money and Get Peace of Mind
Scheduling a home inspection is one of the most cost-efficient things to do if you’re moving soon. To begin with, the cost of an inspection is not a barrier since it will set you off a few hundred dollars unless you require specialized services. Still, this is not a bad investment to make if the inspection could potentially save you thousands of dollars in repair costs. That means you end up benefitting more than the cost of the home inspection. Imagine having to pay for storm damage repair for something that happened before you moved in.
A quality home inspection can also save you from expensive maintenance costs. For instance, you’ll have to invest more in landscape materials or hire a tree trimming contractor if you move into a place that’s not in good condition. Perhaps the most important benefit of an inspection is that it offers peace of mind. It helps you understand the condition of your new home, and having a thorough inspection report in hand gives you peace of mind.
Create More Room for Negotiation
When you have an inspection report that details the true condition of the place you’re about to move out of, this will provide you with more negotiation leverage. You can confidently ask that the place be fixed because you have enough proof provided by a professional that something is wrong. In addition, you can also negotiate the asking price, which helps you come out on top when paying to move into a new place. In any case, you can be sure you’re not paying over the odds for your new home.
Home Inspection Checklist
Besides wondering why you need a home inspection, you may also be wondering what really goes on during a home inspection. The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and not all inspectors are alike. Generally, what goes on a home inspection checklist varies depending on the inspector’s level of experience and thoroughness. A typical home inspection checklist will involve looking at certain components over the course of a few hours. This culminates with a home inspection report that details the findings. The report will outline any major safety issues and defects, whether minor or major. It will also recommend things that need replacement, close monitoring, or special maintenance.
When it comes to what a home inspector checks for, the list always includes an exterior inspection. With a full exterior inspection, areas like the crawlspace, roof, exterior walls, foundation, grading, and garage door. The inspector will watch out for signs of damaged siding, termite damage, foundation issues, drainage issues, and whether the garage door is opening or closing properly or if you need a garage door repair service. The inspector will also check that the roof was installed correctly and there are no signs of roof damage. Once the exterior inspection is complete, the inspector will go ahead with the interior inspection.
When inspecting the interior of your home, they’ll look at common areas, such as the plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. They will make sure the electrical panel doesn’t have any safety issues, among other things. In addition, they will test your plumbing pipes to ensure the water pressure is just right and there are no visible leaks. When it comes to your HVAC system, the inspector will estimate the age and determine if it’s still functioning properly. Other areas of your home that are generally included are the water heater, kitchen appliances, laundry room, bathrooms, and more.
What’s Not Covered in a Home Inspection
Besides knowing what’s covered in a home inspection, it’s also good to know what’s not covered. Keep in mind that a home inspection might not uncover every little thing wrong with the place you’re moving into. A home inspector is there to uncover any visual cues that there might be a serious problem with the property. If there are underlying problems, such as a crack in the foundation, the inspector might not be able to tell for sure if there’s a cause for concern. That said, you can be confident the inspector will do their due diligence and check inside the walls, pipes, sewer lines, and behind electrical panels.
They might not know the specific details of what’s wrong, but they will point you in the right direction. For instance, if they notice a faulty electrical system, they will recommend that you hire a local electrician to verify the issue and troubleshoot the problem. This means that a home inspector isn’t there to provide specialized services, such as termite services, when it comes to pointing out what’s wrong. The good thing is they can check a wide variety of issues and give you a heads up if they have a reason to suspect that something could be wrong.
Can You Perform a Home Inspection on Your Own?
If you have considerable experience with the process, then yes, you certainly can. However, if you’re not familiar with the process, this may not be an advisable thing to do. That’s because it’s difficult knowing what to even look out for if you don’t have an experienced eye. You’re bound to miss something important, such as a plumbing system that needs an overhaul or a mold problem that’s developing behind the drywall. In any case, it’s usually best to leave it to the professionals. Besides, if you’re moving soon, you’ll have many things to do to get your new place up to speed, such as decorating and gutter cleaning. Having an expert to do this job will take the extra work off your shoulders.
Is a Home Inspection Worth It?
So, given all these reasons why you need a home inspection, you no longer have to wonder if a home inspection is worth it. To summarize the reasons why you need a home inspection, for starters, it helps uncover any hidden problems. Hen you have someone trustworthy to check your future home, you can be sure you’re moving into the best place for you. While some people don’t mind moving into a new home that requires upgrades, the whole point is to know what you’re getting into. You want to avoid a scenario where the cost of repairs or removing faulty appliances is more than you budgeted for.
At the end of the day, it’s always up to you whether you choose to have a home inspection. That said, it’s always best to invest in one, especially if you’re the party that’s about to move in. At the very least, you can opt for a basic inspection which should be enough to uncover any major repairs. It should also give you enough negotiating leverage so that you can pay what the car’s worth if it’s not in good condition. In any case, you can settle into your new home more comfortably when you know everything else has been taken care of.
One last thing: Now that you know why you need a home inspection, you should also be diligent about finding the best home inspector. A good place to always start is to ask family and friends if you want to find a home inspector with proper certification or work ethic. The right kind of home inspector should have the proper certification or licensing and access to the right tools and equipment to detect problems early. To find the right person, you can also read home inspector reviews, get detailed quotes, and conduct interviews to determine if a prospective candidate is right for you.