Buying a home is one of the most significant investments in your life. You have to save a lot of money, change your spending habits and attain a good credit score before you can buy a home. A lot are at stake with this purchase, which is why you should be careful in choosing a home. Making rash decisions can sink your money down the drain and cause stress and debt.
If you want to make the most out of your investment and ensure that you’ll end up with the best home, have professionals conduct a home inspection in the Property you’re eyeing to buy. This process involves home inspectors who can identify underlying issues of a specific home while giving you a better idea of the on-going maintenance that the property will require from you. A thorough home check can help save you thousands of dollars from paying unexpected repairs and buying a home that will only cause you long-term financial stress.
To paint a clearer picture of how inspections work, here are some things you can expect when you opt to avail of this service.
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What To Expect From A Home Inspection
Cost Of The Home Inspection
You will have to spend thousands or even millions of dollars when you buy a home, and if you want to hire a home inspector, you should be ready to shell out more money. The amount you’re going to pay for home inspection services depends on the size of your future home, its location, and the areas you want to include during the inspection.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the average cost of a home inspection ranges from $300 to $500. Make sure to save this much money for an inspection to ensure that your home-buying experience will be stress-free!
- Areas Covered By Home Inspection
Hiring a home inspector can help you gain a better and clearer picture of the status of the home you’re eyeing to buy. With their experience and equipment, it’ll be easy for you to determine if the seller has accurately described the home, and if you can meet its maintenance requirements.
Although beneficial, keep in mind that home inspectors don’t inspect every inch of a specific property. Generally, home inspectors will only look for potential problems in these areas:
- The Basic Structure Of The Home. The structure of the home can significantly affect its longevity. Regardless of how new the fixtures and paints are, if the structure is already weak, your home will collapse soon. This is especially true if the property is situated in areas that frequently experience harsh weather conditions.
You won’t have to worry about this problem when you hire a home inspector. These contractors will thoroughly check the home’s structure and assess if there are any cracks on the walls or damages to the foundation. A home inspector can provide reports on how strong the home’s structure is, and if it will require major repairs in the near future.
- Roof And Attic. A home won’t be complete without any roof. This is one of the most essential components of any infrastructure because it protects your family and valuables from the dangers outside.
When you hire a home inspector, they will also assess the condition of your roof and check if there are signs of damages. Damages such as missing shingles, damaged gutters, and a sinking roof will be checked. They will also assess the overall condition of the attic and check for any signs of leaks, insulation issues, and structural damages.
- Basement. Having a basement in your home can be very beneficial as you’ll have an extension of your living space and, once maintained properly, can also increase the value of your home. However, you won’t be able to experience all of these things if you end up buying a house with a damaged basement.
You can steer away from this direction by working with a home inspector. They will check your basement and look for any signs of water damage. Since basements are constructed below the ground, this area can be very susceptible to water issues that can worsen and damage the structural integrity of the home.
- Plumbing. Your home will be useless if it doesn’t have a working plumbing system. How can you maintain personal hygiene if your home doesn’t provide a clean supply of water? Do you think you can continue to live healthily if dirty water always comes out of your faucet?
Prevent these problems from happening by hiring a home inspector before buying a house. A home inspector will check the home’s plumbing system to ensure that the toilets and water flow work properly. They will also check for leaks and assess the overall condition of the hot water heater (if available).
- Electrical. A home’s electrical system is another component that affects the comfort and security of people living inside it. It’ll be challenging for the entire household to remain productive or safe at night if the home they live in doesn’t have any electricity.
When you hire a home inspector, they will also check the electrical system of the home you’re eyeing to buy to make sure that this is properly grounded. When an electrical system is properly grounded, overheating and fires can be prevented. A home inspector will also review the condition of the wirings, outlets, ceiling fans, and circuit breakers inside the home.
- Appliances. Having built-in appliances in a house can make your life easy and convenient. However, if these appliances are in the worst state by the time you bought the house, you will experience the complete opposite.
You can save yourself from this kind of nightmare by working with a home inspector. These professionals will make sure that large appliances such as a dishwasher and an oven are in perfect working condition. They will also look into the electrical connections of these appliances to ensure that none will cause a fire hazard when used.
- Garage. Aside from parking your vehicle, a garage can offer a lot of benefits to homeowners. Having one means having another living area and an opportunity to increase the value of your home.
For you to enjoy the benefits of having a garage, have a home inspector look at it first. They will check for damages inside the garage by inspecting the walls and ceiling while testing the garage door opener.
Areas Not Covered By The Home Inspection
Contrary to popular belief, these inspections are not comprehensive. As mentioned, these contractors will only inspect certain areas of a house, not cover every inch of the property. For all of the areas of a house to be inspected properly, you need to hire individuals who have the necessary equipment and training for the job.
If you want to determine the overall condition of a house, you might consider paying for the following services on top of a home inspector’s:
- Well And Septic System Inspection. This is especially important if the house uses well water. On average, you have to pay at least $260 to have a well and septic system inspection, but this might cost more depending on the location.
- Sewer Issues. A lot of people prefer buying old and antique homes—and if you’re one of them, it’s best if you pay for a sewer inspection. This inspection will assess the overall condition of the sewers in the property and look for signs of damages or blockages.
- Pest Or Termite Inspection. You would always want your home to last for the longest time possible. You’ve saved a lot of money just to afford one, and buying a home that will only stand for a couple of years will only waste your money.
If you want your home to stand the test of time, pay for a pest or termite inspection as well. These contractors will check the overall condition of the home and determine if there are any pests or termites hiding underneath.
Duration Of The Home Inspection
The duration of the inspection depends on the size of the property and the number of areas you want to be inspected. The larger the property is, the more time it’ll require for home inspectors to work. On average, a home inspector spends around two to four hours to check a property.
Your Presence During The Inspection
Sure, a home inspector might be considered as an expert in what they’re doing, but it’s still important for you to be present when they inspect your home. Being there and working with the home inspector can become your opportunity to learn more about your future home and understand any underlying issue that the property has. This is also a good time to raise concerns to the home inspectors as you can get answers on the spot.
Preparing For A Check
As mentioned, a home inspector covers every inch of a home to ensure that all issues are detected and addressed as soon as possible. For everything to be smooth and devoid of blemishes on the report, it’s best to prepare for it by:
- Clearing out the clutter in common spaces such as the garage, basement, and attic. Home inspectors will need to check these areas for any moisture or damage, and if they can’t access these, they will mark it as “uninspectable”, which can result in delays and added expenses.
- Giving the home inspector access to the furnace, water heater, and electrical panel. Doing this ahead of time will save everyone from stress as home inspectors won’t have to ask for help as they are checking through these areas.
- Locking up pets once the home inspectors arrive. Your furry friends can get in the way of the home inspection and will make it hard for the inspectors to begin their tasks.
When The Home Inspection Happens
A home inspection usually happens twice during a home sale: one before the sellers list the property for sale, and another before the home buyer decides whether to buy the home or not. Whoever will request for the home to be checked will be responsible for paying the home inspectors.
Sellers choose to have their homes inspected so they can fix problems before selling the property on the market. The lesser problems the home has, the easier it’ll be for the seller to haul in customers. A buyer’s inspection, on the other hand, happens before a homebuyer decides to invest in a property. The procedure will allow the homebuyer to renegotiate with the seller if there are major issues detected by the contractors.
8. There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Home
Regardless of how flawless your future home is, don’t expect that it actually is. Home inspectors are trained individuals who will check the nooks and crannies in your home, conducting beyond surface-level inspection. They will use equipment that can easily determine any underlying problem that the home has even if there aren’t any visible signs.
When you receive the report from the home inspectors, don’t fret the moment you notice that there are more than three problems in your future home. This is a common scenario among homebuyers. What you should be concerned about is the gravity of these problems, not the quantity. Some issues are minor and can be easily fixed, but others can be too severe to the point where fixing them would cost more money than the price of the home. Be wary for damages that belong to the latter and ask for recommendations from your real estate agent on how you can move forward.
Make Smart Decisions
Several contractors and businesses offer such services today. Regardless of your location and budget, it’ll be easy to find someone who can meet your expectations.
However, if you want to end up with the best home inspectors, it’s important to consider factors such as the reliability, experience, and affordability of the contractors. These factors will help you narrow down your options so you can easily choose the best home inspectors who can provide value to your hard-earned money!
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