Most lenders don’t require home inspections when you apply for conventional loans. However, as a buyer, it’s in your best interest to get one, whether you plan to live in or rent a house with a conventional loan. While a home inspection will cost an additional $300 to $500, it could save thousands of dollars in the long run. Plus, most inspectors provide their report within 24 hours of inspection, so you can move forward with minimal downtime.
It’s also a good idea for your home sales contract to state your purchase is contingent on a home inspection. That way if the inspector finds issues, such as foundational damage or a leaky roof, you can opt out of the sale with your deposit in hand. However, as the buyer, you have the option to forego this contingency, especially if you’re strategizing a competitive offer. Discuss your strategy with your agent to determine if this type of contingency is right for your purchase.
So if you’re wondering “Is a home inspection required for a conventional loan?” It isn’t always. But here’s why you should still get one.
Why is a home inspection important?
Before you purchase a property, you want to know it’s in good condition. After all, you wouldn’t purchase a car without taking a test drive, right? A home inspection is simply a way to vet a property before you buy.
A home inspector will assess the house to confirm there are no major flaws that need correcting. A home inspection will take into account the following property conditions:
- Standing water issues
- General property maintenance, landscaping, and condition of pools, sprinkler systems, and other outdoor features
- Overall exterior and interior structural integrity
- Roof quality, including chimney, gutters, and skylights
- Windows, doors, and trim
- Condition of home appliances, such as the HVAC system, water heater, kitchen hood vents, and other mechanical components
- Proper location and functionality of electrical outlets
- Pipes, drains, and any water damage
- Termite or other pest damage
If there is something specific you want the inspector to assess, such as potential mold in the crawlspace or lifespan of the home’s HVAC system, advise him or her at the outset. You should also ask for your inspector’s credentials and referrals prior to the inspection date to confirm you’re working with a qualified and knowledgeable professional.
An average home inspection takes approximately two to three hours for a single-family home. Anything less may not offer enough time to accurately inspect a property.
What if an inspector finds something concerning?
An inspector may flag some findings, but typically this means they want more definitive information about potential issues, such as termite damage, from an expert.
If an inspector discovers a significant problem, you can choose to opt out of your sales contract or negotiate with the seller to remedy any issues before you close. If the issues aren’t too extensive, you can also move forward with the purchase and assume the risks and their related expenses yourself.
For more information on home inspections, purchasing a property, applying for a loan, or how many conventional loans can you have, reach out to one of our OVM Financial professionals, who can guide you through the process.