Why Home Inspection is Crucial in the Denver Real Estate Market

home inspector

Denver has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. With high demand from buyers and low inventory, homes often sell very quickly in competitive bidding wars. This fast-paced market can tempt some buyers to waive inspections in order to make their offers more appealing to sellers. However, this is usually not advisable. Getting a professional home inspection before purchasing a property in Denver is extremely important for several reasons.

Protecting Your Investment

The purchase of a home, especially in Denver’s pricey market, represents a major financial investment. The median sales price for a single-family home in Denver now tops $565,000. As a buyer, you’ll want to make sure this considerable investment is a sound one. A home inspection in Denver gives you an objective third-party evaluation of the home’s condition, allowing you to make an informed decision and avoid costly surprises down the road.

Some defects found during an inspection, like a faulty electrical system or structural damage, can require expensive repairs. Identifying issues like these before finalizing the purchase can allow you to negotiate with the seller for a price reduction or credits to offset future repair costs. Walking away from contracts due to inspection issues isn’t uncommon in Denver. In 2021, 16% of local home sales fell through because of inspection problems. Getting an inspection upfront helps ensure you don’t overpay for a property with lurking defects.

Understanding What You’re Buying

A pre-purchase home inspection also simply helps you understand the true condition of the most expensive item you may ever buy. The inspector will assess all of the home’s major systems and components, including the roof, foundation, walls, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, appliances, drainage, and more.

You’ll receive a detailed written report explaining the current quality and remaining useful life of each element. The report will also call out any recommended repairs. This information paints a clear picture of which aspects of the home are sound and what areas may require attention or upgrades in the next 5, 10, or 15 years.

Arming yourself with this knowledge ahead of time allows you to plan and budget more accurately for future maintenance, repairs, renovations or replacements. There won’t be any major surprises down the road, since you’ll know the home’s condition going into the purchase.

Customizing Offer Terms

If an inspection does turn up issues that need addressing, you can use this information to go back to the seller with revised offer terms before closing. Based on the inspection results, common changes buyers may request include:

  • Price reduction to more accurately reflect repair costs
  • Seller credits towards specific repairs or improvements
  • Contingencies making the sale conditional upon certain fixes being completed
  • Home warranty to cover defects for a period of time

Because the Denver market moves so fast, you usually won’t get a second chance if you forgo an inspection and then find problems later on. The inspection report strengthens your ability to negotiate the best deal possible upfront. About 20% of Denver home purchases involve renegotiations related to inspection issues.

Identifying Safety Hazards

In addition to assessing the condition of the home, a professional inspection also identifies potential safety hazards that you may not notice on your own. Examples include things like:

  • Water damage that could lead to mold
  • Faulty gas lines, furnaces, or fireplace components
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Cracks in the foundation or ceilings
  • Missing handrails on staircases
  • Lack of fire blocking between floors and walls
  • Malfunctioning GFCI outlets
  • Improper ventilation

Spotting these dangers in advance allows you to address them appropriately before you or your family members get injured or sick. Your liabilities also decrease when you take action to resolve safety issues prior to moving in.

Meeting Loan Requirements

Most mortgage lenders require a home inspection in Denver report in order to approve loans for purchasing a property. The report confirms to the lender that the home is structurally sound enough for them to accept as collateral. Requirements vary amongst loan programs, but many types of mortgages won’t fund without a satisfactory inspection from an objective third-party.

FHA loans in particular have stringent appraisal and inspection standards that homes must meet related to minimum property standards, health/safety, and basic structural integrity. Skipping the inspection could mean you don’t ultimately qualify for financing under certain loan types.

Evaluating Environmental Hazards

In addition to the standard home inspection, buyers may also wish to arrange additional specialized inspections in Denver depending on property specifics or personal concerns. For example, older homes could contain now-banned hazardous materials like asbestos or lead piping. Testing for these is not typically included in a traditional inspection.

Other supplemental inspections buyers sometimes request include checking for radon, mold, well/water quality, and analyzing the quality of Chinese drywall. Environmental hazards like these can be extremely costly to mediate. It’s best to determine if they exist prior to finalizing a purchase.

Choosing the Right Inspector

In order to reap the full benefits of getting an inspection, it’s critical to carefully select your inspector. Look for an inspector who has extensive experience specifically inspecting homes around the Denver area and current knowledge of local building codes. They should also use advanced diagnostic technology and tools to detect subtle underlying issues.

Confirm they will provide you with a detailed inspection report including photo/video evidence. This documentation will better support any requests you make to the seller regarding price adjustments, credits, or repairs. Finally, the best inspectors take time to carefully explain their observations and answer all questions you may have about the home’s condition. Leveraging the right expertise goes a long way towards making the inspection process worthwhile.

In summary, attempting to buy a home in the highly competitive Denver real estate market without getting a home inspection first comes with huge risks for buyers. Skipping this important step blindly exposes you to safety hazards, hidden defects, and potentially getting stuck paying too much for a property needing extensive repairs. Don’t let the temptation of hurriedly getting an offer accepted put your financial future in jeopardy. Protect yourself by investing in professional home inspections for properties you aim to purchase in Denver.