Depending on the type of financing you’re using to secure a property, your lender may or may not require a home inspection. In some cases, like VA loans, banks may even require additional inspections to verify that the condition and value of the property are worth the loan you are asking for.
In most residential areas, basic inspections are in the $200-$500 range depending on the type of property, whether it has a pool, and whether your inspector includes a termite inspection. The inspection generally takes 2-5 hours depending on the size of the property and the type of foundation it has. If possible, be present during the inspection. A good inspector will want to discuss their findings with you in person, and let you know if what they’ve found is something that needs to be fixed prior to purchasing the home, or if the issues are cosmetic and can be fixed at your leisure.
The inspection is an opportunity to get an unbiased, professional view of the property. The inspector has no stake in whether you purchase the home, and they aren’t blinded by buyer’s excitement. They will offer honest, valuable insight into the true condition of the property, and make recommendations on whether additional experts or contractors need to be brought in. If a seller or agent suggests that you skip the home inspection, especially in an attempt to help you save money–run.
Ethically, there is no reason for a seller or an agent to ever suggest that you skip this vital part of the home buying process. A quality inspection can uncover serious problems and potential expenses that you might otherwise overlook due to buyer’s excitement, or from a general lack of contracting knowledge. Even in As-Is sales, it is important to know what issues the property is facing, so you can better prepare financially.
Once your inspection is complete, you’ll receive a copy of the inspection report. The inspection report is a negotiation tool during the buying process. Depending on what the report reveals, you may be able to negotiate for additional repairs on the home, or for a lower asking price based on repair estimates. In the end, you will be responsible for anything found on the inspection report that the sellers do not fix, so be sure to consider the long-term costs of those issues before making the final commitment to the property.
Here are three important areas to look for on your inspection report:
The structure of a property is the bones of the home. You want to make sure your inspection report includes a clear summary of the condition of the following:
· The foundation · Walls · Windows · Flooring · Roofing · Chimneys and fireplaces where applicable · Attics/basements where applicable · Areas housing potential mold
Water damage can be costly, and will likely produce long-term effects like mold. If your potential home is in a flood-zone, you’ll also be responsible for carrying additional insurance. Your inspection report should clearly notate any areas of interest for the following:
· Plumbing · Sewer · Gutters · Sprinkler systems · Previous water damage · Leaks · Grading
It’s also a good idea to ask your inspector to take note of any roots or overgrown areas that might cause issues with pipes or water lines in the future.
Electrical issues can quickly result in home fires, so it’s important to make sure all wiring, breaker boxes, and circuitry are up to current code regulations. Your inspector will be able to alert you to any possible violations based on the age of the home, and present you with a list of violations after a complete inspection. Look for the following:
· Outdated wiring · Location and condition of breaker boxes · Grounded wires · Working outlets VS Dummy outlets · HVAC systems · Capacity to handle current technology
Contact your local, non-commissioned Door agent today for recommendations of licensed inspectors we’ve personally worked with. We only work with professionals who go above and beyond, and you should too. You’ve finally found your dream home. Don’t settle when it comes to making sure it’s a safe and sound investment for you and your family.