Reasons to Have a Home Inspection Before You Buy

Real Estate

You’ve found your dream home. You’re finally getting out of that Houston, Texas apartment as rent rates are on the rise and moving into your new San Antonio home. You’re pre-approved for the mortgage, your offer was accepted, and now the real work begins.

Your offer to purchase may have given you an option period that you paid a few hundred dollars for. The option period allows you to cancel your offer and pay nothing except the dollars you have paid for the option. During this period, the owner can’t make a deal with anyone else, and you have locked in your right to purchase.

At this point, it is necessary for you to get a home inspection, because if you find significant problems that you don’t think can be properly corrected, this is the time to cancel the transaction. The inspection--even though it is only the first step toward closing--is seriously important, and here’s why you should use a professional to conduct it.

You Can’t Tell

A good professional home inspector will have seen scores of homes, and they understand systems and construction. A nine-year-old HVAC system that looks perfectly fine to you may be ready to die tomorrow, and an inspector knows the clues that indicate upcoming HVAC failure.

If all of the lights work in your home, that doesn’t tell you that the electrical wiring is fine, but a competent home inspector will know. Many homes were built by large nationwide construction companies, and just as auto mechanics become experts in understanding what goes wrong in a 2011 Honda Accord, for example, home inspectors may know that the under sink plumbing has issues in a certain type of home they have seen before.

$500 Now May Be Cheap Later

You are going to have to pay for your home inspection, and the fee can be $500 or more. This $500 will look cheap if your house has a termite problem or a bad roof. Again, inspectors can see what you can’t. Just because you don’t see insects marching across the floor doesn’t mean they don’t exist. A skillful drywaller can cover up water leaks due to a bad roof, but a good inspector will know that this was done.


If the home inspection shows major problems, you can threaten to kill the deal unless you can agree upon a lower price since the home’s value may be significantly less if you consider repair issues that the inspector has found.

Owner Can Pay

Alternatively, you can tell the owner to pay for the repairs. This is normal and happens frequently; if the AC is old and iffy, you may get the owner to install a new unit.

Know Exactly What You Are Buying

Many people take a used car they are intending to purchase to a trusted mechanic. That way, problems can be discovered before the purchase is made. This is extremely important in a major purchase like a home. Moving is expensive, closing costs can be formidable, and the last thing you want is to have to replace a major component like a water heater or furnace because you neglected to have a home inspection done by a professional. This is one area where you definitely should not consider DIY.

If you are thinking about buying a San Antonio Home, now would be a great time to contact a professional agent, who can assist you through the home buying process, and you'll be all set to close before school starts.