First Time Home Buyer? Here are Four Things to Know about a General Home Inspection

A general inspection is used to evaluate the physical condition of a home prior to purchase. A professional home inspector will evaluate the home and its components, focusing primarily on uncovering any major deficiencies, potentially expensive repairs, or safety issues.

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The potential buyer is then presented with a written report that outlines the inspector’s findings. Knowing the home’s current condition allows the buyer to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the purchase.

If you are new to the home buying process, below are four important things to know about a General Home Inspection…

1) The Home Inspection is Optional

As the buyer, you are not required to have a general home inspection. Whether you choose to have the inspection is entirely up to you. That said, 4 out of 5 home buyers elect to have a general inspection performed. Why? Because no home buyer wants to enter into a contract they will regret. Even though a home inspection is optional, it is purely for the buyer’s benefit.

Buying a home is a big investment and an inspection provides valuable insight into the property’s condition. A general home inspection will uncover any serious defects before the purchase contract is signed. This helps the buyer determine if the purchase should go forward as planned, be re-negotiated, or abandoned altogether.

2) The Home Inspection is the Responsibility of the Buyer

If the buyer decides to have the home inspected, it is the buyer’s responsibility to choose the inspector and make timely arrangements for the inspection.

Also, since the home inspector is working on behalf of the buyer, the buyer is required to pay for the inspection.

3) The Home Inspection is a Visual Overview

A general inspection involves a visual overview of the home and its main systems. Again, the primary focus of a general inspection is to uncover major issues, potentially expensive repairs, and safety concerns.

As such, a general inspection does not normally include a detailed analysis or exhaustive testing. However, if certain components of the home warrant further examination, the inspector may recommend the buyer arrange to have a more specialized inspection performed.

4) The Home Inspection is not Pass / Fail

Contrary to what many people assume about a home inspection, there is no Pass or Fail, nor is there any grading system. A general home inspection is merely intended to gather important facts about the property. The information gathered during the inspection provides valuable insight to the buyer so that a sound purchase decision can be made.

It is also important to note that the inspector will only provide facts and observations. He or she will never render an opinion as to whether or not to proceed with the home purchase. That decision is solely for the buyer to make.

A general home inspection is an important part of the home buying process because it provides the buyer with the information needed to make good decisions. Even though the inspector will provide a written report after the inspection, it is recommended that the buyer also be present during the home inspection in order to get a firsthand explanation of any concerns that may arise.

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