Buying a home is the largest financial investment most people make in a life time! You’re about to make a huge down payment & commit to a long term mortgage…So it only makes sense that the condition of your new home should be very important to you!
A home inspection is probably the most important step in the home-buying process. You’ve seen all the good things about the house but what about what you don’t see? How’s the roof, furnace, plumbing, electrical, foundation, basement… What jobs around the house need to be prioritized first?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure of a home from the foundation to the roof. Last year, almost 8 out of every 10 home sales in the United States involved a home inspection, according to a study by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Realtors.
A home inspection usually covers the following:
- heating system
- air conditioning system
- interior plumbing
- electrical systems
- appliances if included with the sale
- the roof, chimney & flashing
- the attic
- visible insulation
- the foundation
- the basement or crawl space
- exterior structure
- water drainage
You should also know what an inspection does not include.
Inspections for a typical home require 2-3 hours, but they do not concern every dent and scratch. For details, speak with any inspector you are considering.
Here’s a couple of questions to ask when looking for a home inspector.
- How much does the inspection cost? Fees can vary depending on the home’s square footage & of course the scope of the inspection. The national average for a home inspection last year was close to $325.
- How much additionally for possible Radon or lead paint testing?
- How long does the inspection take?
How do you find a qualified home inspector?
- Ask your real estate agent for a list of recommended home inspectors.
- You can also ask friends, family and associates who have recently purchased a home and ask about the home inspector they used.
- You can also go to www.ashi.com or www.nahi.org. Both national home inspector organizations provide a code of ethics and standards that must be met in order for a home inspector to use their designations.
- Yellow Pages