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How important are home inspections and how much do they cost?

a home inspector shaking hand with the home owner

Many new homeowners get caught up in the idea of moving to a new property that they forget to commission a professional home inspection. And that is a huge mistake.

One of the most important parts of the home buying process, a home inspection allows professionals to conduct a thorough review of the property and its integral components.

Home inspections are so important that purchase agreements often have contingency clauses that allow buyers to back off their transactions in case major issues are found during the inspection.

That said, here are some things that you should know about the home inspection process and how you can use it to your advantage when purchasing a new home.

Where can I find professional home inspectors?

You can get recommendations regarding professional home inspectors from a variety of sources, like your real estate agent or close friends and family who have recently bought homes.

Before hiring any professional home inspectors, however, it is best to look at online ratings and reviews in order to gauge the quality of their work.

It is also important to check if they’re affiliated with organizations such as The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) to be sure.

What are the things that home inspectors usually look out for?

Basically, home inspectors keep an eye out for issues that might affect the property’s habitability and value. These include the following:

  • Structural damage
  • Defective plumbing and wiring
  • Defective heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
  • Broken kitchen appliances and cabinets
  • Drainage problems
  • Damaged exteriors, including driveways, porches, and other spaces beyond the residence
  • Damaged roofs, gutters, and windows
  • Moldy and leaky attics and basements

How much does a professional home inspection cost?

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the cost for a typical professional home inspection from a reputable company will typically run from $300 to $500.

The exact cost, however, will still depend on several factors. This includes your property’s square footage, location, overall condition, and age. This means that you might pay a much higher amount for the home inspection if the property is larger than 2,000 square feet.

It must be noted too, that inspecting the property for issues related to termites, high radon, carbon monoxide and lead levels, poor well water quality, and faulty septic tanks, among other things, will incur additional costs. You may also need to hire specialists for this.

How long will a professional home inspection take?

According to the HUD, the length of an inspection depends on the size of the property.

For instance, on-site inspection for a typical 2,000-square-foot single family house can last for two to three hours. Small condominium units or mobile homes take about an hour. Meanwhile, larger homes will take a much longer time to inspect. It may necessitate the presence of additional inspectors.

Full reports regarding the inspection are usually provided within 24 hours of the inspection.

Can I attend the home inspection?

We highly recommended that you, along with your real estate agent, attend the home inspection. Apart from seeing the home for yourself, it also allows you to ask certified experts any questions you may have about the property.

What should I do if the inspector finds problems with the property?

Once you’re notified about the presence of certain problems, sit down with your realtor and the seller (or their agent) to discuss their next steps.

You can go about it three ways. First, you can accept the property as-is and take care of the problems on your own. Second, you can request the seller to make the necessary repairs before completing the sale.

However, if the house is peppered with major issues and the seller is not amenable to making repairs or giving discounts, you have the option to back out of the sale. This is especially the case if there’s an inspection contingency clause in the purchase agreement.

Never skip the home inspection

A home inspection may seem like an optional and costly step to take when buying a home. However, it is an integral part of the home buying process and is something that should be understood by all of the parties involved.

If you feel you’re ready to buy a new home, let our team of experts at RE/MAX Direct give you the tools and home buying tips you need. Contact our team of real estate professionals now at 610.430.8100 or send us an email at remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com.