If you’re about to purchase a home, you may getting ready for one of the final steps before it’s a done deal: the home inspection process. A home inspection is meant to reveal anything wrong with the house, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not it’s worth purchasing. Here are some things to expect during the process.
Depending on the size of the home you’re purchasing, a home inspection will generally cost a few hundred dollars. As the homebuyer, you handle this expense yourself and it is also your duty to hire the inspector, although your real estate agent might have some recommendations. The National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) are two places to start looking for local and licensed home inspectors.
The inspection, which normally takes between two and three hours to complete, covers various parts of the home. This includes checking major appliances, structural features (such as the foundation), the roof, the attic, the home’s exterior, the plumbing system, and electrical wiring and breakers that are externally visible. The inspection won’t usually include cosmetic aspects of the home, but functional issues only. While the inspection is taking place, it can be a good idea to be there while it is going on. This way, the inspector can point out any issues to you as they are found.
Soon after the home inspector is finished, you and your real estate agent will receive a detailed report, which will include any possible issues that were discovered. If there was anything found, the report may also suggest which course of action to take and the estimated costs for repair. The inspector’s job is just that—to inspect the home for any potential issues. However, he or she does not determine what the home is worth—that is a home appraiser’s job.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.