What Should You Expect From Your Home Inspection?
For a lot of first time home buyers, or for those who haven’t bought a home in a several years, the home inspection can seem a bit overwhelming. What will it cost? How long does it take? What can I expect my inspector to find? Hopefully, today, we will dispel some of those worries or concerns with answers to a few of the most common questions we receive.
How long does the inspection take? Most inspections will take at least 2-3 hours on an average sized home depending on the number of inspectors and the different types of inspections you request. With larger homes, that time can be extended or shortened if the inspector uses multiple inspectors. This is a great time to take measurements, ask questions, and really look at the home. Just remember to be respectful of peoples privacy on occupied homes.
How much does an inspection cost? This can vary based on the overall square footage, age, type of construction, etc. but a good home inspection can cost $300-$500 for an average sized home from 1500-2500 square feet. Additional square footage will require more inspection time and will likely have an additional cost. Outbuildings are also not usually included, so if you have a detached shop and want it inspected, it will also likely cost more.
What is covered in home inspection? Most home inspections nationally will include an inspection of the roof, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and structure. Some include grading and drainage, wood rot, moisture infiltration, and overall safety. It’s recommended you discuss the scope of the inspection with your inspector so that you know what is being inspected, but also, more importantly, what is not being inspected. Additional trade specific contractors can be hired for any other items which might be of concern to you which are not covered. Items such as the termite inspection, septic inspection, radon/mold inspections are generally not covered unless requested by you of the inspector. These are also not included in the overall cost of the full home inspection.
What defects can I expect my inspector to find? No home is “perfect”. Even new construction homes can have items not fully completed and an older home can have several years of deferred maintenance issues that may come up. Just be prepared to discuss items with your real estate professional regarding things you may wish to ask the seller to address. It can be as simple as a leaking faucet, or as large as needing roof replacement. Just realize that there will be some items that may require correction and maybe some lesser items that are not that important to you. It’s all part of the post inspection negotiation. Focusing on the larger items first is usually the best strategy.
When will I receive my inspection report? Some inspectors will deliver the report on-site. This can sometimes take longer, so be prepared to spend extra time. Most inspectors will want to review the report for accuracy and will send the report either later that day or the following day. You should expect to receive the report in a reasonable amount of time as you are typically under a time constraint to request any repairs of the seller. The sooner you get the report, the sooner you can negotiate any desired repairs.
Does a home “pass” or “fail” an inspection? No. The home inspection is merely a means of understanding what you are purchasing and if the overall condition is consistent with what you are offering to purchase it for. Moving forward with the purchase decision is entirely up to you and not the responsibility of the inspector.
Buying a home can be a bit scary, and there will be lots of questions, but working with experienced real estate professionals through the selection, offer, and inspection process can help you to have peace of mind in knowing that you are making an informed decision about one of the single largest investments most of us are likely to make in our lifetime.