Home Inspections provide definite value by delivering a level of objectivity in evaluating a home. When a home owner determines the value or condition of a home, it is very difficult to separate the emotional aspects of the home from the objective inventory of features and condition. It is part of our nature to invoke the emotional value in a home from our personal perspective, which can cause conflict in the sale process. A deal for buying a home can fall apart over old appliances or home improvement work that has sentimental but not intrinsic value. Home inspectors play the role of objective third party. Typically, home inspectors evaluate a property within 7 days after negotiating a contract is complete in order to secure mortgage approval. This inspection only checks the condition of the home at the time of inspection and is no guarantee of condition beyond that point. Some special features on a home may not be included in the inspection, such as swimming pools, in-ground sprinklers, gazebos, etc.
A good inspector will check for radon and other harmful gases. It is important that buyers of a home accompany the inspector to observe the inspection. A good inspector will freely describe what they are looking at, how to check for problems, and the condition of the area of the house they are inspecting. Often, they can show you useful things like a shut off for water, where to light a pilot light on a furnace and other important bits of information.
Do not settle for a verbal confirmation of condition on a property — get a report in writing. Some inspectors will fill out a standard inspection checklist, but detailed reports are far more helpful. This is not to say that inspectors will catch every possible problem in a home, but a thorough inspection will give much greater piece of mind to a purchaser.
A typical inspection will cost about $250 to $350. It is recommended that any home, even a new home, be inspected. Often in a rush to develop a subdivision corners are cut, and these can present problems in the near future. The new home delivered to you may not be as flawless as the model you tour. Inspection allows buyers and sellers to resolve problems prior to closing and makes it less likely that some defect regarding the property has not been disclosed to the buyer.
Home inspection is largely an unregulated industry, so do not neglect making sure you get a qualified inspector.
If you live in a state that has no home inspection requirements, it is still recommended that you have it done. For a seller, a home inspection performed as part of pre-listing can help sell in a more timely manner. For a buyer, it helps cut down the emotional appeal of a property and gives a more objective and realistic evaluation.