Realtors have long understood the importance of home inspections and as of September 14, 2015, HUD/FHA requires lenders to inform homebuyers of the importance of getting a professional home inspection done. The American Society of Home Inspectors has been asked to provide buyers with information about why they should get a home inspection and why the FHA does not guarantee the value or condition of a new home. These changes are designed to encourage buyers to inform and protect themselves early in the process of purchasing a home.
Why do HUD and FHA recommend the importance of home inspections before you buy?
A professional home inspection provides a wealth of information about the building and property you are interested in buying, information the average person may not have the tools or experience to uncover during a standard walk-through of the home. A thorough home inspection gives you:
- The age, condition, and life expectancy of major systems such as HVAC, water heater, fuel tank, electrical box etc.
- The amount of insulation in the attic, the R-value, and the recommended R-value for the region
- The condition and usability of exposed plumbing and wiring
- Tests of every outlet and electrical switch
- Tests of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Tests of every faucet, toilet, and plumbing fixture (not including fire suppression systems)
- Tests of every mechanical feature, such as garage doors, electric gates, whole house fans, etc.
- The condition and usability of outdoor items such as pools, hot tubs, landscape lighting, and in-ground sprinkler systems
- The condition and life expectancy of the roof(s)
- The condition of the foundation, and potential drainage issues around your foundation
- Points out any building code violations or safety concerns
- And more!
In short, HUD/FHA are saying that since the purchase of a home is such a major financial commitment, and buyers are taking out significant loans for that purchase, they should be informed about the condition of that home before they sign a contract and take out a mortgage. With the inspection, a buyer will know about the condition of the home, the likelihood of upcoming repairs or replacements, and can make decisions that take this important information into account!