What to Expect From a Home Inspection
One of the steps to buying a home may involve getting a home inspection. Now this step can be waived by the buyer, who usually pays for the inspection. However, with such a large purchase and big investment at stake, why would one not opt for a home inspection?
Home inspections will cover visible structure and foundation, walls, windows, ceilings, and the roof. Gutters will be examined and the inspection will check for a slope away from the foundation.
Inside the home, the inspectors will be looking for plumbing, electrical, heating or cooling problems. He or she will test the water pressure and see if they are signs of mold and dampness. All appliances that come with the sale are subject to inspection but inspectors will primarily focus on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, if applicable. Please note that they will tell you if they find problems but will not advise you on how to fix them.
Home inspections do not cover bugs, termites or pests, although the inspector will note any visible damage seen from what appears to be pests, such as bugs, or even bigger ones such as rats and mice. They will only check things that are visible and will not move furniture or rugs to examine something. Consequently, some things may be missed even in a thorough inspection.
Your real estate agent or loan officer will be able to provide some companies from which you can choose an inspector. Or, one can ask friends or family for referrals or even go to consumer sites like Angie’s List for referrals. Just make sure that whomever you choose as your inspector is licensed and it does not hurt if he/she is a member of a trade group such as the National Association of Home Inspectors.
Prices vary for the inspection from $300 to $500 depending on where you live in the country.
Inspections are expensive but in the long run, can discover potential problems that may cost you thousands. Inspection results can also be written into an amendment into the contract with the seller paying for some or all of them. Of course, at this point, the buyer could just walk away from the sale, saving a long term potential headache as well. Despite its cost, inspections are a good tool to learn about one of the biggest investments you will probably ever make.