Home Inspection Done Right
FEBRUARY 18, 2019
Home inspection is an important on the journey to owning your own home. Although optional, a home inspection is an important and valuable tool for the home buyer because it will inform you of any large and expensive repairs before you purchase the house.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is an examination of the physical condition of the home from the roof to the foundation. Home inspection is a common step in the process of purchasing a home.
What Should I Expect During a Home Inspection?
On the day of the inspection, home inspectors will typically spend anywhere from 2-4 hours inspecting the home. As the buyer, you will be able to attend the home inspection to ask the inspector any questions you may have about the home. The home inspector will evaluate the home’s foundation, basement, structural components, electrical system, windows, etc. Around 8 weeks later, the home inspector will give a written report to your realtor of what is condition of the home.
No home is perfect, so you will receive on average a list of 20-30 items that need to be repaired. You need to hire a professional to repair any damages to the home. By hiring a professional, you will receive documentation on the repairs. It is important to keep this documentation because, if you do not have the proper documentation of repairs, the mortgage lender will not grant you the deed to the home.
What is included in a Typical Home Inspection?
A home inspector must be certified and will check the interior plumbing, electrical systems, roof, attic, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, structural components, heating and AC. If you wish to have a more specific home inspection for issues such as radon, termites, asbestos, lead piping/paint or mold, you will need to hire a specialist.
What is the Difference Between an Appraiser and a Home Inspector?
While both are helpful to anyone looking to purchase a home, an appraiser will never be a substitute for a professional house inspector because they have different functions. An appraiser will form an idea of the home’s property value for the lender, but the inspector will inform the buyer of the condition of the home.
Appraisers and home inspectors check similar areas of the home, such as the windows and doors, but for different purposes. An appraiser focuses on the overall home’s value while a home inspector focuses on the home’s condition for existing and potential future problems. An appraiser will check for signs of neglect such as cracked walls chipped paint, broken windows, damaged flooring, and inoperable appliances. Meanwhile a home inspector will focus on the condition of the home’s structural components, such as the foundation and attic. However, getting an appraisal of the property’s value is mandatory, while a home inspection is not.
Why Do I Need a Home Inspection? Are Home Inspectors Worth the Cost?
While a home inspection is not mandatory, it certainly is recommended. Purchasing a home is the largest expense you will make and a home inspection will give you an idea of what kind of issues to expect from an old or newly constructed home before you purchase it.
In addition, depending on the severity of the issues with the home, the buyer will be able to negotiate the final pricing of the home to reflect the expense for fixing the issues.
The cost of home inspection varies depending on your location. In general, a home inspection costs $200 to $500. Despite the cost, a home inspection is worth it because it will let you know the need of major repairs and builder oversights. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions about the house to the inspector.
Can I Get Earnest Money Back if the Home Fails Inspection?
Generally yes, but make sure you check the contract for terms. Also, make sure you terminate the contract before you sign off on the repairs.
Should I Let the Seller Pick the Home Inspector?
No, it is not a good idea to allow the seller to choose the home inspector. You do not want to be in a situation where the home inspector could be associated with the seller or the seller’s realtor.