A common element in the home buying process is a home inspection. A home inspection can save headaches for both the buyer and seller. For buyers, this is a critical step before actually closing on your new home.
If you are buying a home, an inspection, normally scheduled within ten days of a signed contract, can reveal trouble areas you might not have otherwise been aware of. This opens the door to discussions on price negotiation with the seller, repairs that need to be made prior to closing, or in the alternate, cancelling your contract due to unacceptable conditions. The last thing anyone wants to find after buying a new home is that there is a costly problem needing repair.
If you are selling your home, it may be wise to get a home inspection prior to ever putting your home on the market. This allows you to address these issues ahead of time, and avoid the headache (and potentially a dramatic decrease in your sale price) once the buyer requests an inspection. You want potential buyers to feel confident in their decision to purchase your home, and unaddressed repair issues do not accomplish this.
A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. The following is a list of items that will normally be included in this inspection:
- Heating and Cooling Systems
- Kitchen (including cabinets, counters, sinks, faucets, garbage disposals and other built in appliances)
- Check for Insect or Animal Infestations
- Exterior Walls
- Parapets and Trim
- Basement & Crawl Space
- Attic & Roof
- Gutters, Overhangs, and Downspouts
You can expect an inspection to take two to four hours, depending on the complexity of the job. An average home inspection cost ranges from $300-$800, but obviously can deviate from this range depending on the age and type of structure.
On inspection day, the inspector will begin with an initial site evaluation. He or she will take you on a tour of your home to point out assets as well as any potential problems. This is the time to pay close attention and ask questions.
At the end of your inspection, you will receive a written report by email with photos of any damage or defects found. This report will not only make it easier for you to understand the findings, but it will also aid in obtaining estimates for repair.
All home inspectors are not equal. Because the scope of their inspection covers so many different areas and systems of your home, it is imperative that they have an equally broad knowledge of these things. Checking an inspector’s background, qualification and references a great way to ensure he is qualified to give you an accurate inspection. Bear in mind, however, that even the most seasoned inspector is not capable of finding every possible problem nor can they foresee every potential for future problems.
We’ve compiled a list of inspectors that come highly recommended by our past clients. This resource features whole house, roof, chimney, termite, structural, environmental and irrigation specialists from which you can begin your search. If you’d like a copy, please contact us.