Some people will say that home inspections are a necessary evil involved in a real estate transaction. Most of these people are the home sellers. They do not necessarily encourage a home inspector to come through their house and derail their moving plans by pointing out every little thing that’s wrong with their home.
In our opinion, home inspections are not at all evil. In fact, we recommend getting a home inspection on every property. Even new construction. We do feel it is important to understand the elements of a home inspection in order to be fully aware of what you are paying for and what to expect after receiving a copy of the report.
Here are the three elements:
1. What the house is
2. What items are broken
3. What items you should watch for in the future
“What the house is” is very important. The structure, the design elements, the roofing system, the mechanicals… What you are buying needs to be fully understood. So a big part of what home inspectors do is include these types of things in their report as part of their service to aid in your decision process.
“What items are broken” is very self-explanatory. These are the deficiencies of the house. They describe the items that the seller me results for your home purchase.
"What items you should watch out for the future" are what cause the most challenging issues. In an effort for the home inspector to really help paint a picture of how to protect your investment, a home inspection includes many items that are not broken but may be needing replacement in the future. Many times a buyer asks a seller to replace or repair something that has absolutely nothing wrong with it. By asking for these types of items, in some cases this tarnishes the entire process. This sometimes leads to many of the items that need repair are not taken seriously and basically the process can become soured.
Of course there are exceptions to this rule. If something is literally dying as we speak, and is not working as it should but it is still technically operating, will this certainly may cause need to ask for a concession. But if a home inspector says that a water heater has just a few years left in its life expectancy, asking the seller to buy a new water heater will not be met well it may end up causing the seller to decide to not do anything.