I am frequently asked, “should I get an inspection?” I feel the answer to this is always an emphatic “Yes!” Even if you feel you cannot afford it. Even if the property is only a couple of years old. Even if the property has been “pre inspected.” Even if you are handy and feel that you can handle anything that might be wrong.
Why should I always get an inspection? You should get an inspection because it tells you far more than what is wrong with the place that you have under contract. Your inspector will spend two to three hours in the property. In that time, your inspector, will get pretty well acquainted with the property. The inspector will be able to tell you the age of appliances, roof, and major components of the property. If you attend the inspection, which I recommend, your inspector can show you where the main water shut off is, how to change the furnace filter and the life expectancy of working items in what may soon be your new home. This makes it possible for your to plan ahead knowing how much longer the furnace might last, or the water heater or roof. Your inspector can tell you all of this in addition to telling you what does not work, or does not work properly in the home. Your inspector can run a radon test for you so that you know the level of Radon in the property.
Once the inspection is complete the inspector will provide you with a report complete with pictures and explanations of what was seen and recommendations. You, at this point, can decide how you feel about the property now that you have learned all about it. You can move forward with it just the way that it is, negotiate the condition of the house by requesting the seller repair or replace items in the home, or cancel the contract and have your earnest money returned to you.
So, an inspection is far more than just what is wrong and certainly something important to spend the money one when you are purchasing a property. The amount spent on an inspection is small compared to the knowledge gained. Finding out that something major is wrong and having the seller fix it might easily save you more than the cost of the inspection. Even if you find nothing wrong you have gained valuable information about the property and peace of mind in moving forward.