Buying a new property is a big decision and a major investment. Not only are you committing to the price of the mortgage, but you're also committing your finances to the cost of any repairs the property may need over time. Conducting a home inspection before buying can help you save considerably over the lifetime of your home and help you feel confident that you’re buying a beautiful, well-maintained property you’ll be happy with.
If you are looking at homes for sale in Noe Valley or looking for Bernal Heights Homes for Sale read on for the reasons why performing a professional inspection is one of the best steps you can take to protect yourself as a buyer.
1. Feel confident in what you’re buying
When you buy items at the store, you generally take the time to look them over before you buy them. Once you get them home, you might take them out of the box and look them over to make sure there aren't any obvious defects or problems. Unfortunately, unlike with a purchase from a store, you won’t have the ability to simply "return" a house to the Noe Valley real estate market if something isn't as expected.
Instead, schedule a home inspection that will let you know what you're buying before you sign your contract. Thanks to a home inspection, you will have a better overall idea of what kind of shape the property is in, what you're buying, and what kind of maintenance costs you can expect in the near future. This will help you feel more secure in your decision to move forward.
2. Identify major problems
Major problems with a property can be a complete deal breaker when the time comes to buy. After all, you don't want a property that has major structural or foundation problems, unexpected leaks, or moisture problems with no obvious source. In many cases, however, you won't be able to identify those potential concerns when you do your own walkthrough.
By hiring a professional inspector, on the other hand, you'll get a much better idea of what is actually going on with the property and what you can expect when you buy it. Some major problems may be deal breakers. Others may not, but you still want to know about them ahead of time so that you can make reasonable choices about your future.
Is there a good chance that the HVAC will need to be replaced within the next few years? A home inspection can help you uncover that information. Do you need to replace the roof in the near future? A home inspection will let you know so that you can plan accordingly.
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3. Understand maintenance costs
If you're looking at new construction in Noe Valley real estate, you may assume that you won't have to face substantial maintenance costs. In some cases, however, the price of maintenance may grow higher than you anticipated. If the builders missed any critical regulations or used low-quality materials in construction, a home inspection can help identify those potential problems. Maintenance can become even more critical when you need to take care of an older home. Sometimes, older homes develop quirks that need to be addressed.
4. Identify potential dangers
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Did an unlicensed electrician take care of electrical work in the home that may end up causing a fire hazard? Is there structural damage that could make it hazardous to live in the home? Is there unexpected mold somewhere in the home that could pose a hazard to your health?
Unfortunately, there are a variety of potentially dangerous conditions that could make a property uninhabitable — or at least uninhabitable without substantial rehabilitative effort. Unfortunately, many of those dangers can be hidden, even from the people who have lived in the home for several years. The current owners may have no idea of the hazards they might face and the potential problems with their property. On the other hand, a home inspection can uncover those potential issues, regardless of whether the current owners knew about them or tried to hide them.
5. Save money
Often, a home inspection will identify potential challenges with the property. This is one of those conditions in which you would definitely prefer to "know before you buy." Once you buy the property, it will be on you to either take care of those problems or sell the property again — often at a decreased value since you will need to disclose those problems to a new buyer. A comprehensive home inspection can allow you to avoid purchasing a home that could end up costing a lot more than anticipated in the long run. You'll also get a better feel for what the property is really worth and whether it's the ideal solution for your investment.
6. Negotiation power
Negotiation is a critical part of the home buying process. As the buyer, you want to work down the cost of the home as much as possible. You might want the seller to take care of closing costs, or you might be aiming for a specific move-in date.
A home inspection can help provide you with additional information to take to the negotiating table. Suppose a home inspection identifies a problem with the property. The sellers did not know about the problem prior to putting the home on the market, but now that they've seen the results of the inspection, they do. Now, the buyer has the potential to do one of two things. You could ask for the seller to take care of any known problems with the house before closing (which would mean that you will not have to take care of the cost of those repairs), or you could ask the sellers to reduce the asking price of the property by the amount that you will likely spend on those repairs. In many cases, the sellers will agree to those changes.
Knowing about potential problems with the property can also provide you with leverage on other issues. For example, suppose that you're willing to take care of needed repairs, but you need the sellers to take care of closing costs on the property for you. You might note the repairs needed, but rather than asking the sellers to take care of the property immediately, ask for them to pay those closing costs or to take care of another issue. You might also use it as leverage when you're negotiating move-in or move-out dates.
7. Logic and reasoning
It's easy to end up emotionally invested in a property that you're considering purchasing. Many buyers have become emotionally attached to a property before they put in an offer. You may find yourself willing to put more money into a property than you had initially anticipated, despite the fact that it could put a lot of strain on your budget, or you might struggle to walk away from a property that feels "perfect" even though it doesn't fit every item on your wishlist.
A home inspection gives you a chance to step back and take a look at the property from a much more logical angle. You'll take a step back from the emotion of imagining this property as your own and get a chance to consider what it might really cost to own the property and any problems you might face in the process. As a result, you can make a more logical choice about whether this is the right property for your needs.
Are you ready to start the home search?
Finding the right property for your needs is often a complicated process. At Dan McLean Real Estate, we help our clients take a comprehensive look at Noe Valley homes for sale and give them a better idea of what those properties might really look like if they move in. Are you ready to start looking for the perfect home for your family? Contact Dan McLean today to begin your property search.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock