So you’ve found a house you love. Great backyard, gleaming hardwood, and the kitchen of your dreams. But what about the furnace? The wiring? Leaks in the basement? Talk to me about adding a Home Inspection Condition to your offer. Using a certified home inspector is the best way to make sure you really know what you’re getting into.
A home inspection will give you the information you need to make an informed decision. The inspector will determine the condition of the house you’re thinking about buying, and let you know if there are any problems Big or Small!
What happens during a home inspection?
The inspector meets you at the home you are purchasing. (I am there too.. every step of the way) The inspection takes about 2-3 hours to carefully inspect the entire house for structural, mechanical or other issues. The inspector examines everything from the roof to the foundation and everything in between, including heating and air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, insulation, roof, windows and doors, walls, ceilings, attic and basement. You can and should accompany the inspector as he or she goes through the home – it’s a good way to get to know the home quickly, and will give you a head-start in your home care “learning curve.”
The inspector then prepares an inspection report that outlines any problems (breaking them down into major repairs that need to be done right away and areas that will need attention in the future, with accurate cost estimates for each), highlights good points, and gives you an idea what kind of maintenance you’ll need to do to keep the place in good shape. Make sure you ask for a detailed report that’s written in a narrative style. Never accept a verbal report or one that’s just a checklist.
How much does it cost?
Most inspections cost between $400 and $500. Think of it this way: a few hundred bucks could save you thousands in home repairs. It’s a pretty small price to pay for significant peace of mind.
How do I find a good inspector?
Look for a reputable, qualified company that has been in business for a while, can provide references from previous customers, is fully insured and offers guaranteed inspections. Inspectors should be licensed in building-related fields such as contracting, architecture or structural engineering. I have inspectors on speed dial that many of my clients have used and that I personally have used. Make sure to take a look under "Links" to see my preferred inspector list.