If this is your first time buying a home, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the steps required in order to close the deal. Title searches, mortgage loan documents and more can cause your head to swim with all of the moving parts involved.
In all of the activity going on around you as you wait to take possession of your new home, don't forget about the home inspection. This is often an underrated yet important part of the process, but it can be a game changer.
The house looked good to me
When you walked through the house, you may have kept an eye out for anything that you would consider a deal-breaker, but you didn't find anything. Just because you didn't see anything doesn't mean there isn't a problem hiding somewhere in the home. After all, there is a reason for the saying that "beauty is only skin deep." A closer inspection could reveal potentially expensive issues. A home inspector looks for issues with the following aspects of the home that you wouldn't ordinarily see:
- The interior and exterior structure
- The crawl space or basement
- The attic and its insulation
- The roof
- The interior walls and ceilings
- The interior plumbing systems
- The doors and door frames
- The interior wiring and other electrical systems
- The floors
- The cooling and heating systems
- The foundation
The inspector does not check out buildings, chimneys, well pumps, water, the septic tank or the interior wall spaces. You could, and probably should, have those items checked separately. The home inspector's report will let you know of any flaws or damage that will require repair or replacing. From there, you can go back to the seller to renegotiate your deal.
You can request that the seller fix the problems prior to closing or request a reduction in the sale price to cover having the repairs done yourself once you take possession. Depending on the severity of any issues found, you could possibly back out of the deal all together. Of course, whether you can do so depends on whether you included the appropriate contingencies in your purchase contract.
Get the support you need
Buying a home may be the biggest purchase you ever make, and you want to make sure the process goes smoothly. In addition to making sure you take advantage of a home inspection and any other inspections you may need done, you could also take advantage of the experience and knowledge of a Honolulu real estate lawyer to help you through this process, to make sure you get the best deal possible and to protect your rights.