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Caution: Home Inspection Myths You Might Believe

Posted On March 13, 2019

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The home inspection is one of the most important steps in the home buying process.  You may think you have found the perfect home, but a home inspection could reveal costly and even dangerous problems that you could face down the road.  When you are buying a home, it’s important to understand what a home inspection actually is, what a home inspector does, and what a home inspector does not do. identified some of the most common myths first time home buyers and even some repeat home buyers believe.

A home inspection and a home appraisal are the same thing.  A home appraisal determines the value of the home, a home inspection determines the safety of the home.  The two are not interchangeable.  A lender will require an appraisal when your purchase a home, and a home inspection is generally not required, but still a good idea.

Home inspectors can advise you on whether or not to buy a home.  You may be inclined to ask your home inspector whether or not you should buy the house based on their inspection.  The home inspector can only provide information, they are not qualified to advise you on whether or not to purchase the home.  Your decision to buy or not buy the home depends on your willingness to take on the needed repairs or upgrades.

The inspector will uncover every single thing wrong with the house.  Inspectors cannot tell the future and they are not omniscient.  Predicting exactly how long an HVAC system is going to last or tearing into walls is not something they can do.  Most inspections are limited to a visible inspection.  Even with specialized tools like infrared cameras and moisture meters, a home inspection will be limited. 

You cannot attend the home inspection.  As the home buyer, you are welcome to attend the home inspection and ask questions.  This can be a valuable learning experience, especially for first-time home buyers.  While the home inspector can’t tell you whether or not to buy the house, they can offer guidance on what will likely need to be repaired. 

Newly built homes or recently renovated homes do not need to be inspected.  Even though many new construction homes are under warranty, they should still be inspected.  Faulty construction can lead to costly problems.  You’ll want to check that any newly built or newly renovated homes are up to code. 

Home inspections are Pass/Fail.  A home inspection report will not say whether a home has passed or failed.  The results depend on the buyer’s needs and tolerance levels.  If you are willing to take on extensive renovation and have the budget for the right home, the home inspection can show you what repairs you should plan on completing.