Congratulations You Have Found Your New Home! Now What?
So from the time of signing the purchase and sales agreement you have 10 days to complete a home inspection. Now chances are your real estate agent has made the offer contingent upon a satisfactorily home inspection and obtaining proper mortgage financing.
So What Exactly Is A Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, that often happens in connection with the sale/buying of that home. Home inspections are conducted by a home inspector who has the proper training and certifications needed to perform a proper and accurate inspection.
The inspector will prepare a written report (often using home inspection software) and will delivers this to the client, who is typically the home buyer.
The buyer will then use the knowledge that they have gained from the home inspection report to make an informed decision about their pending home purchase.
The home inspector will describe the condition of the home at the time of inspection. This unfortunately does not include the future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components and won’t guarantee the condition of the home long term.
It should also be noted that as a home inspector their job is not to estimate the market value of the home or to let you know if you got a good deal on the home. This is something that is typically done by an appraiser.
Why You Should Have A Home Inspection?
When you are buying a home you are making the single most expensive investment that many of us will ever make.
The home inspection is designed to provide you as the home buyer with as much information on the property as possible in order to make an informed decision about the property.
A home inspection report should be able to clearly identify any potential significant defects with the property. It should also give the home buyer a realistic price estimate for any needed repairs. This can help with negotiations needed with an updated purchase contract. An inspection can also shine some light on any areas or features that might need to be addressed in the near future as they may be reaching the end of their useful life span.
How Much Do Home Inspections Cost?
The home buyer will typically pay for the inspection up front. However, depending on your purchase contract, there may be an agreement included where the seller will reimburse those fees at the time of closing.
You should keep in mind that home inspection fees vary from state to state. However an estimated cost of a home inspection is roughly $250-$400. This will depend on what services have been selected, as well as the location of the home.
In addition to having a general home inspection done on the home, there are many common services that home buyers also choose to have preformed at the same time. Now these additional services are not typically included in the general home inspection fee and be an additional fee.
Optional Home Inspection Services:
- Wood destroying pests
- Radon gas
- Lead base paint for homes that were built before 1978
- Carbon monoxide
- Pools, spas, barns, or other external structures
- Docks and sea walls
- Underground sprinkler systems
Once the inspection is completed, the buyer will generally have seven days to put into writing the “request for repairs” list. This is what the buyer is requiring the seller to fix/ repair prior to them taking possession of the home.
Now the sellers may not be obligated to make every single repair, so as the buyer you will want to make sure you have read the purchase and sales contract carefully. You want to make sure the agreement does not state that the home may be sold in “as is condition.”
The Home Inspection Process:
A home inspection should include:
- An examination of all major systems- includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning (if applicable), electrical, and appliance systems.
- A look at the structural components, such as the roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows.
It is recommended that the home buyer and/or representing buyer’s agent is present during the home inspection.
When scheduling a home inspection keep in mind that they will typically take between 1 ½ hours to 3 hours. The amount of time needed to conduct the inspection is dependent on the size and condition of the home.
Remember, this is a mandatory service that you are paying for. You should follow the inspector around and ask any questions that you have. You will want to know the condition of your home and how you should maintain it. This is about to be your future home and you will want to know everything you can about it. These inspections can also be eye opening and make you rethink your future purchase if too many repairs are needed.