Buyers Guide to Home Inspections

Buyers Guide to Home Inspections


It’s been weeks and a staggering amount of houses you have looked at. You weighed out the pros and cons of each home and finally settled on a beautiful Victorian style house, but what’s next?

The next step may be as important as finding the perfect home, it’s to get the house inspected. For most people, buying a home will be the biggest investments they make in their life. So, understanding the process of home inspections and choosing the right person for the job can be challenging, especially if you don’t know what questions to ask.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is merely an assessment of the home. Its purpose is to report the general condition of the structural and mechanical components of the home and to check for any presence of termites.

Price

Prices vary, and it’s usually dependent on square footage. On average they start around $300-$375 for 2,000 ft^2 or less, and up to $650 for a large home of about 3,500 ft^2. It may seem expensive, but if you look at it compared to the total price of the house, for example, a $150,000 home, it’s a small fee to pay to ensure a large purchase

Different ways to find the right home inspector

There are a couple of ways to go about it. One way is to use a referral. Ask your friends, colleagues, and family. Ask them who they have used in the past and what was their experience with them. Were they thorough, did they give you a report, were they available for questions and did they work along with your real estate agent? These are all question you need to ask to better understand the inspector.

Another option is to speak with your real estate agent. More likely than not they have their own contacts that they rely on and trust. Most agents want to offer their clients the best service possible and to help reach a closing deal.

Lastly, do some research online. Once you compiled a list of inspectors you might consider, go to your state’s agency that regulates home inspections. In Texas, it’s the Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors, by going to the website you can locate home inspectors around your area, rules, and regulations, and any faults brought upon them.

Questions to ask a Home Inspector

Now that you have a couple of inspectors in mind, what are some questions you can ask them? How long have you been in business? How many inspections have you performed? These are questions to give you a good indication of what kind of knowledge they will bring to the inspection.

If they are new to the business, it does not mean they are not qualified. Ask what kind of training they have had. They might not have much experience, but excellent training can go a long way.

Another question to ask is if they are insured. If not, it may be an indication that they do not have high-quality service.

What does a home inspection include

An excellent Home Inspector will check for:

  • Roof
  • Exterior
  • Grading and the ground around it
  • Foundation
  • Any crawl space areas
  • HVAC system
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Every door and window that is accessible
  • Appliances
  • Mold in available areas

Note: home inspections can only inspect what is readily accessible. What this means is that a home inspector cannot take off covers, break open walls, remove fixtures, etc. However, the inspections are decidedly thorough.

Inspection is done, and some issues were found

Don’t fret, this is normal and the reason for the inspection. A good approach is to inform yourself of what the problems entail, so you can move forward with the proper decision. Reach out to your agent. Ask for their opinion and how to go about it.