Buying a home can be a challenging but rewarding process. Along the way, you’ll need a home inspector to survey the property you’re buying. These professionals may charge you up to $500, but the inspection is well worth the cost. In fact, it’ll save you money in the long run. Here are eight ways your home inspector puts money back into your pocket.

1. Identifying the Major Issues

The most important way you’ll save money is by learning the major issues your home inspector found. The house could look magical in the real estate listings, but the images don’t show the home’s cracked foundation or wiring issues. Repairing the foundation costs around $2,000 but can quickly eclipse $7,000 if the damage is bad enough.

Home inspections are comprehensive, covering everything from the foundation to the roof. Your inspector will leave no stone unturned when evaluating your house for any problems. The average home inspection takes about two hours, depending on the size of your home. The time is well worth it, considering the surprises you may encounter.

2. Finding Previously Undetected Problems

When buying an existing home, the seller may disclose the current issues with the house to show transparency. You may appreciate their honesty, but hiring a home inspector is still a good idea. Your professional may find previously undetected problems the previous owner did not disclose, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Purchasing a house is already stressful enough. Home shopping could require a year or more, depending on the market you’re trying to live in. The last thing you want is a surprise issue when you move in.

For example, your home inspector may find termite damage or septic tank issues the average person wouldn’t detect. The seller shouldn’t expect you — the buyer — to see faulty wiring in the walls or dirty ducts in the HVAC. Finding these problems now can lead to a much different negotiation process.

3. Building Leverage in Negotiations

Negotiating the selling price is a critical point for the buyer and seller. If you’re a first-time buyer, you need all the leverage you can get in today’s housing market. The median home price in 2023 is $416,100 — a 26% increase from three years ago. A thorough home inspection can give you the upper hand in getting a lower selling price.

Minor problems here and there won’t change the price much, but a significant issue can drive the price down. If the seller is in a hurry to sell, they may relent and accept your offer under their asking price.

Alternatively, you can keep the asking price but ask the seller to cover the repairs. Your home inspector will give you a list for the seller, letting you decide what’s fair for them to pay for. You may ask the seller to cover these repairs, but you’ll likely pay for some.

4. Budgeting for Repairs

The seller might not cover all the repairs, so you’ll eventually agree on the asking price. Once you own the home, you can get started on the work your house needs. This phase is where your home inspection is handy.

Home inspectors are well-versed in the field of repairs. They can tell you what to expect for any project you’ll need to tackle later. Having this knowledge helps you when budgeting for repairs because getting a fair price will help you stay within your budget.

For example, say one of your repairs is cracks in your roof. These gaps can lead to mold and negatively impact your family’s health if you don’t tend to them quickly. Your home inspector will thoroughly examine the damage and give you an estimate on the repairs. Use this number to compare roofing contractors and ensure you get a fair price. Home inspectors know how tight budgets are, so saving every penny is worthwhile.

5. Reducing Your Home Insurance Costs

When buying a house, you’ll need to get home insurance. The state you live in won’t mandate you to purchase it, but most lenders will require you to purchase it to have coverage if something happens. Your home inspector can be incredibly useful in reducing your home insurance costs and putting money back into your pocket.

Home insurance companies want to see details from your inspection to determine your rate. A good one may qualify for discounts depending on the business and its standards. For example, your home insurance provider may lower your premiums if the house has a new electrical system or roof.

6. Locating Energy Inefficiencies

Nowadays, prospective home buyers emphasize energy efficiency in their home purchases. A 2021 National Association of Home Buyers study shows 78% of buyers are concerned about their house’s environmental impact. Luckily, a home inspector can help your home’s energy efficiency and how it stacks up to modern standards.

Modern home inspectors understand how much energy efficiency matters and you can ask them to incorporate it into their examination. They’ll check your windows, appliances and insulation to see how much waste the house currently holds. Then, you’ll get advice on what you can do to lower your power consumption and utility bill. For example, you may need to upgrade your windows or swap for Energy Star appliances.

7. Ensuring Building Code Compliance

Are you moving into an older home? Existing houses can be excellent choices for buyers because of their antique charm. However, these older buildings can be challenging to sell if the current owner doesn’t keep the building up to code. Developers may have built the house in 1975, but standards change often and likely need updating in your house.

Your home inspector is essential for ensuring the home complies with the current code. They’ll find the violations and put them on the inspection report. If the building has numerous code violations, you can use them to lower the selling price or ask the seller to cover the costs.

8. Walking Away From the Deal

Home inspectors are helpful resources because they’re your impartial third party. They typically don’t have a vested interest in the seller or buyer, allowing for an unbiased report on the house’s condition. Most home inspectors will encourage you to attend the inspection so they can show you firsthand what’s wrong with the house. These issues may lead to you walking away.

You know what you’re getting into with fixer-uppers. They require repairs around the house, but how many do-it-yourself projects are you willing to do? Can you afford every point of maintenance in the home? The home inspector will help you make a more informed decision about the house and how much the significant repairs will cost. If you’re uneasy, you can save money by walking away from the deal.

Saving Money With a Home Inspector

When buying a home, the fees can add up quickly. You need to account for the down payment, appraisal, title insurance, homeowner’s insurance and other closing costs. A home inspection will cost a few hundred dollars, but these eight reasons show how these professionals can save you money.

Disclaimer: The services and practices described in this article might not be available for purchase or scheduling at Axium Inspections. Please note that while these are generally good rules of thumb, it’s essential to consult directly with any inspection company to confirm available services. Axium Inspections operates as a non-biased inspection entity, and we believe the principles shared here apply broadly across the inspection industry.