January 2017 Article

Home Inspection Benefits for Buyers
By Jim Luger, CDEI
Certified Distance Education Instructor 

The most obvious reason for a home inspection is to identity defects in the physical condition of the property. But there can be other benefits to homebuyers as well.
Negotiation tool
Some buyers will use the inspection process and the inspection report as a tool to renegotiate the sales price that takes the defects into account. If the buyer does not like the results of the inspection, the buyer is generally able to cancel the transaction.
Many homebuyers (first-time buyers in particular) want to understand the maintenance requirements for a home. Most home inspectors will explain in detail all of the maintenance required for that particular home. Maintenance will differ from one home to another and from one region of the country to another.
Mechanical system operation
In addition to understanding necessary maintenance, the ability to properly operate the mechanical systems is of utmost importance to the homebuyer. Home inspectors will generally provide buyers with in-depth instruction about how to operate the furnace, air conditioning, water heater, water softeners, humidifiers, air exchangers, and any other system installed in the home they are buying. Systems can vary greatly between homes, so this may be a critical component of the inspection for the buyer of a home with operating systems different than the one he or she is moving from.
Home improvement counseling
Most inspectors have a wide range of expertise to advise homebuyers about areas of home improvement. For instance, buyers might want to know if they can enlarge a room, move a wall, add an attached garage, or finish an attic or basement. A knowledgeable inspector can counsel the buyer on desirability, costs, and other factor that may be relevant to the improvement in question. Buyers sometimes want to know about building codes: What permits are required from the municipality, and what is the process involved in getting approval for additions or remodeling. These are questions many inspectors can answer.
Risk management
When it’s all said and done, most buyers simply want an inspection to insure that the property they are purchasing has minimal defects; or at least manageable defects. An inspection is never a guarantee that the inspector will uncover every defect, but the inspection will at least provide the buyers with basic knowledge about the condition of the home, and it will reduce some risk to the buyer.

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