The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers first time homebuyer programs across the United States and its underlying territories to help buyers become homeowners. One of HUD’s homebuying programs goes under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), wherein the self-funded government agency insures mortgages on loans made by FHA-approved lenders. The program allows lenders to offer financial assistance to first time homebuyers who may not be eligible for conventional loans.
However, FHA also advises first-time homebuyers about getting an independent home inspection before purchasing. While FHA insures loans, the agency does not guarantee if your potential new home comes with issues concerning repair or health and safety hazards after closing.
Why you need a home inspection
For first-time homebuyers, FHA stresses the importance of having a home inspection. Why? Getting a home inspection provides homebuyers access to more comprehensive information about a prospective home. During a home inspection, qualified home inspectors examine a home thoroughly and free of bias.
A home inspector:
- appraises a home’s physical condition involving the structure, construction, and other mechanical systems
- determines the items that need repair, upgrade or replacement
- gauges the life of components such as structure, equipment, and interior and exterior finishes
What happens in a home inspection
Having a home inspection provides you, the homebuyer, a general objective and physical assessment of the condition of a potential home. Home inspection gives you insight on the items and components that should be repaired or replaced.
Furtehrmore, a home inspection presents you a comprehensive report regarding the potential home’s structure, plumbing, roofing, insulation, ventilation, heating, air-conditioning, exteriors and interiors.
Appraisals versus Home Inspections
Take note: A home inspection is different from an appraisal. Lenders perform the appraising, while buyers do the home inspecting.
As part of FHA’s job in insuring mortgages for the lender, the agency requires lenders to perform an appraisal to:
- determine the value of your prospective new home
- ensure it adheres to FHA standards
- make sure that the property is marketable
Lenders conduct appraisals to make sure that the physical condition of a home you wish to buy meets, if not exceeds, all of your expectations. Lenders evaluate the physical condition of a home in terms of:
- site hazards
- soil contamination
- grading and drainage issues
- well, individual water supply and septic problems
- wood destroying insects
- private road access and maintenance problems
- structural, foundation and roofing deficiencies
- mechanical systems problems
- general health and safety hazards
- deterioriated paint
First time homebuyers have the responsibility and the right to carefully evaluate their prospective new homes accompanied by a qualified home inspector. Being an informed homebuyer is crucial; you have to ensure that what you buy is satisfactory.
If you’re in the process of a home pruchase, employ a home inspection before signing the contract. Good inspectors should check up certain components of a home and then produce reports covering detailed findings. Ask questions if necessary. Home inspections may take an amount of your time and money at present, but you will be relieved you did for the long haul.