Whether it’s your first time buying a home or you feel like a professional, there’s always that little voice in the back of your mind telling you just to skip the home inspection. You’ve looked around, talked to the owners and feel confident the house is in good condition. So why spend money on an extra step, right?

Wrong. Every home can have a multitude of problems waiting under the surface that an untrained person can’t see. It requires special knowledge and sometimes tools to truly inspect a home and ensure it’s in proper condition before you buy. Let’s take a closer look at the top five reasons you should always hire a home inspector.

1.) Discover Hidden Problems

It’s all too common for homeowners to walk through a home, look at the roof from the ground level and assume everything is in order. The last thing you want, though, is to purchase the house, move in and discover problems you didn’t see before. Now you have major expenses to make it livable right after you emptied your savings on a down payment. 

Home inspectors know exactly what hidden areas are likely to cause problems and how to check them. They can tell you if there’s a leak in the roof or mold under the floorboards. Their report not only protects you as the buyer, it also gives you some bargaining power if there are issues the seller hasn’t fixed.

2.) Option to Back Out

Once you’ve entered into an agreement with a seller, it’s your legal responsibility as the buyer to complete the home sale. Without a home inspection, you’re stuck in this agreement no matter what. With an inspection, however, you have an avenue to back out of the sale if you change your mind based on the inspector’s findings. 

Make sure you always hire someone with a valid home inspector license so that they’re report is legally effective. Without a license, the seller might argue that the findings are invalid. That report will be your protection if an inspector finds significant problems with the house that you don’t want to manage as an owner. 

3.) Safety

A major reason you should always get a home inspection is to ensure your new house is safe to live in. This is the primary focus of a home inspector and should be your number one concern.

The inspector will check the electrical work, the gas lines and the water lines to ensure everything is functioning properly and in good condition. Any of these malfunctionings could cause serious damage to your home and threaten your life. Plus, they’re incredibly costly to repair and replace.

4.) Estimate Maintenance Costs

No matter how great your home condition is, a house will always need maintenance. Whether it’s replacing a pipe or adding a few new shingles to the roof, you’ll want to have some money stashed away that you can spend on your house when it needs some TLC.

Your home inspection can help you get a solid understanding of what types of maintenance to expect. For example, on a new house, you might only have minor problems arise in the first decade. With an older house, however, there could be significant maintenance needs right off the bat. Your home inspector can give you an idea of what your home will need so you can evaluate if it fits with your budget.

5.) Peace of Mind

Buying your home will be the biggest purchase you make in your life, so you want to feel good about your decision. Having a home inspector look at the property and identify any potential issues will help you feel confident that you’re purchasing a home that’s safe and affordable.

Remember these five reasons when you enter the closing period on your next home. Skipping a home inspection is never a good idea. Always hire a licensed home inspector before you buy.