Importance of a Home Inspection When Buying a House

House with picket fence

Buying a home is a big financial investment, so it only makes sense to have your dream house professionally inspected before signing on the dotted line. Even if you’re a dedicated do-it-yourselfer who’s well versed in home improvement, a home inspection can find problems you might miss and detect serious structural issues.

What’s Included in a Home Inspection

A thorough professional home inspector will examine:

    Homeowner with house inspector

  • Heating and cooling system
  • Plumbing and wiring
  • Roof and gutters
  • Foundation
  • Basement or crawlspace
  • Attic and insulation
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Floors
  • Doors and windows
  • Siding and trim
  • Decks, porches, and railings

How to Hire a Home Inspector

Before hiring a home inspector, find out:

    House with magnifying glass and plans

  • What the inspection will and won’t cover.
  • How long the inspector has been in business.
  • Does the inspector primarily work on residential property.
  • Will the inspector provide you with references from other homeowners.
  • Is the inspector a member of an organization, such as American Society of Home Inspectors.
  • How long will the inspection take to complete (a thorough inspection should take 2-3 hours or more).
  • How long will it take to receive a report (the report should usually be available in 24 hours).
  • What will the report contain (the report should include a list of problems and an estimate of repair cost)
  • How much will the inspection cost (the average cost for a home inspection is around $300-$400).

The cost of a home inspection can vary depending on where you live, the size of the house, and what the inspection covers. Generally a home inspection will cost from 14¢ to 20¢ per square-foot of living space, or around $300 to $400 for a 2,000-square-foot home.

If possible, accompany the inspector, to make sure the inspection is thorough and so you can see any areas of concern firsthand. Do not hire the inspector to perform the needed repairs, since this could pose a conflict of interest which might influence the findings of the report.

How to Find a Home Inspector

To find home inspectors in your area:

  • Ask for recommendations from your friends or Realtor.
  • Look in the phone book under Home Inspection Services.
  • Search “home inspection” and your city on the Internet.

4 Comments

  1. Nice article!

    • NEVER ask the realtor for an inspector. This is a great big conflict of interest. If the inspector finds items that kill the deal; the realtor will not use them again. If the inspector depends on real estate agents for income; they buyers needs will become secondary to preserving the realtor/inspector relationship.
      Find an Independent Inspector on line.

  2. Awesome! great tips!

  3. Nice article with valuable info!

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