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What Is A Home Inspection? And Why Is It Important?

What Is A Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home to find items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe. If a problem or a symptom of a problem is found, the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation. 

Why Is A Home Inspection Important?

Home Buyers: Emotion often affects the buyer and makes it hard to imagine any problems with their new home. A buyer needs a home inspection to find out all the problems possible with the home before moving in.

Home Sellers: More and more sellers are choosing to have a thorough inspection before or when they first list their home. First and foremost, you should have a home inspection for full disclosure. You will have demonstrated that you did all you could do to reveal any defects within the home. Second, you will save money and hassle by knowing now what your defects are, not after you have already negotiated a price and are faced with costly repairs discovered on the buyers inspection. Defects found before the buyer comes along allow you to shop around for a contractor and not deal with inflated estimates that a buyer will present.


What If The Report Reveals Problems?

All homes (even new construction) have problems. Every problem has a solution. Solutions vary from a simple fix of the component to adjusting the purchase price. Have a home inspection allows the problem to be addressed before the sale closes.


What Does A Home Inspection Include?

A home inspector’s report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation basement, and visible structure.


What Should I NOT Expect From A Home Inspection?

  • A home inspection is not protection agains future failures. Stuff happens!! Components like air conditiioners and Heat Systems can and will break down. A home inspection tells you the condition of the component at the time the component was inspected. For protection from future failure you may want to consider a home warranty.
  • A home inspection is not an appraisal that determines the value of a home. Nor will a home inspector tell you if you should buy this home or what to pay for this home.
  • A home inspection is not a code inspection, which verifies local building code compliance. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. Homes built before code revisions are not obligated to comply with the code for homes built today. Home inspectors will report findings when it comes to safety concerns that may be in the current code such as ungrounded outlets above sinks. A home inspector thinks “Safety” not “Code” when performing a home inspection.


Should I Attend The Home Inspection?

It is often helpful to be there so the home inspector can explain in person and answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent way to learn about your new home even if no problems are found. But be sure to give the home inspector time and space to concentrate and focus so he can do the best job possible for you.

3 Different Types Of Home Inspections:

Within every transaction, in most cases you will have some sort of Home Inspection. However, in a Sellers Market where inventory is low and the volume of Buyers is high, people tend to waive the inspection entirely in hopes to submit a more competitive offer. However, waiving an Inspection is HIGHLY risky and we always encourage that if you don't have to, DO NOT WAIVE INSPECTION! But you're in luck because regarding Home Inspections you have a few options! Let's dive into those options:

Pre-Inspection: There are a couple of reasons why you would want to do a Pre-Inspection. Number one, it obviously protects you from buying a house that could have a lot of repairs needed. Depending on the scope of the repairs, it might be more than you'd be willing to take on. Secondly, and most importantly, it can potentially give you the upper hand when competing against other offers. Essentially, it makes sure your offer stands out that much more because you’re not going to be submitting your offer with an inspection contingency. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean you have to accept the home "AS IS", instead, it gives you that option PLUS the ability to ask for repairs or credit towards items you found during the Home Inspection. You're basically able to save the Seller time and/or money with a Pre-Inspection. However, if your offer isn't accepted, you are risking the cost of the inspection. The other option is just to simply walk away and not pursue it any further if there are too many issues found at pre-inspection.

Pass/Fail Inspection: A Pass/Fail Inspection is utilized if you're not willing to waive an Inspection or do a Pre-Inspection. The Pass/Fail Inspection component would be submitted with your offer and the purchase would be contingent on satisfactory results from the inspection. However, you are basically telling the Seller that you will NOT be asking for any credits or repairs, instead you just want a better understanding of the integrity of the home. So if the results of the inspection come back with more significant repairs then you hoped for, then you can walk and receive your earnest money back at no risk. 

Full Inspection: If you can, the best option when purchasing a new home, is to be able to submit an offer with an Inspection Contingency. In short, this gives you an out during the inspection period (typically 10 days or less) for any reason whatsoever. If the sky is too blue, you can walk with zero risk to your earnest money. Also, if there are repairs needed, you are able to ask for the repairs to be remedied or a credit at closing. Seller can obviously reject your request, but even then, you have the last say in the matter. 

How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost?

Typically a Home Inspection can range any where between $250-$500. Prices can vary depending on location and size of the home. Also, payment is usually paid on-site from the Buyer directly to the Inspector.

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