The path to purchasing a home is long and detailed. Every step is important and cannot be overlooked or skipped. One of the most important steps some buyers think they can forget about is the home inspection. Often buyers aren’t even aware of the significance and importance of having one done and what an inspector could tell them about their dream home. To eliminate all confusion, here are 8 of the most frequently asked questions about home inspections.
1. What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an assessment of the property you intend to buy. A professional inspector will evaluate the structural and safety elements of the home, as well as ensure the house is up-to-code. They are ensuring this investment is worth every dollar. However, they do not look behind every wall or under every floorboard. If they believe something is problematic in concealed places, they may recommend a specialist take a look.
2. How long does a home inspection take?
Depending on the size, age, and condition of the house, a home inspection can take between 2-3 hours. The inspector will take a look at each room thoroughly, looking for major issues. A good inspector will take a look at the home's attic and roof too (as long as it’s not 3 feet under snow). When they are finished, they will provide you with a written report and pictures.
3. How much do home inspections cost?
A home inspection can cost between $300 to $750. As with most services, you get what you pay for. A more expensive inspector probably has more experience and expertise with certain homes.
4. What happens if the inspector finds something problematic?
Let’s say during an inspection, an inspector finds broken pipes in the basement that were undisclosed. They will provide you with the information but ultimately you need to decide what to do. Depending on your situation you could potentially walk away from the house, fix it yourself or renegotiate with the sellers to factor in the repairs (it’s important to note that in a seller’s market this may not be an option).
5. Are home inspections optional?
Absolutely! Home inspections are not required but they are recommended for older homes.
6. Do I have to be present during the home inspection?
It is highly recommended that you be present at the home inspection even if it means waiting outside in your car. You want to make sure you get your money’s worth and if there is anything urgent to report you will hear about it immediately. This is also a great time to ask questions. If you find cracks, broken sockets or low-pressure taps, ask the home inspector if they are a quick fix or a potential problem.
7. What should I look for on the home inspector's report?
Once you have received your home inspection report, we recommend you read it thoroughly. These are four terms you may notice on the report: material defect, major defect, minor defect, and cosmetic defect. Material and major defects are the two terms you need to look out for. A material defect could potentially be a safety hazard or leave a significant impact on the home. A major defect is a system or component that is broken, needs replacement, or is no longer functioning.
8. Do home sellers ever pay for a home inspection?
In a highly competitive seller’s market, some sellers choose to pay for a pre-list home inspection to give buyers a piece of mind. However, it's not a common practice, so do not expect it every time.
It’s important to remember every house is different and depending on the market, home inspections may differ as well. It’s essential to work with a real estate agent who can interpret the market and can guide you accordingly. If you have any more questions about home inspections please get in touch with us.
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