What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the home’s major structure, systems and components that are visible and safely accessible. The inspector will substantially adhere to a standards of practice that outline what should be covered during a general home inspection, as well as what is excluded. The inspector will provide you with a written report, which may include photos and/or recommendations, of his or her findings of the inspection.
Why should I get a home inspection?
Buying a home is typically the biggest investment you will ever make, so it’s important to get a home inspection because the inspector should be able to discover and document defects that may or may not be obvious to you as a prospective buyer. Such defects can range from simple replacements or repairs, to severe damage or safety and health concerns. Additionally, most mortgage companies require a home inspection on a property before approving the home loan.
How long does a home inspection take?
Depending on the home’s age, size, and location, your home inspection will generally take between 2-3 hours. Adding square footage, outbuildings, and/or ancillary services (such as mold or pest testing) will increase that time. It may be necessary for your inspector to bring in a helper for a very large property.
At what point in the real estate transaction should I schedule a home inspection?
A home inspection is usually scheduled after an offer has been made and accepted, but before the closing date. That way, the inspector can rule out any major defects that could be dangerous or costly. In rare cases—due to timing or contractual issues—the inspection can be scheduled after the closing date. If this is the case, the home buyer should schedule the inspection for the earliest possible date after closing.
Should I be present for the inspection?
Yes! You should absolutely attend the inspection if you can! You can learn a lot by following an inspector through the home. You will certainly gain a better understanding of the home’s condition, which will give you insight into its potential sale points and defects. Additionally, you will likely learn information about the home’s maintenance, systems and components that may provide useful for the transaction.
What happens if the inspection reveals problems?
If your home inspection reveals any problems, it is important to understand the severity of the defect. For example, a missing shingle or dirty air filter can be easily fixed at a low cost. However, if the defect is more extreme, such as a major foundation crack, wood-destroying organism infestation, or evidence of mold, you should find out how these problems can be addressed, and whether you can negotiate their cost with the seller. Your home inspector will be able to direct you in the right direction.