How much does a home inspection cost?

While other expenses may be the last thing you want when buying a home, most experts recommend a professional home inspection to get a better idea of ​​what condition the property is in and what problems may be lurking.

Do you need a house search?

A home inspection can help you avoid potentially costly surprises, such as structural defects or hidden damage. While not required by law, buyers – especially first-time buyers – can really benefit from having a professional examine the property thoroughly before making a purchase.

“Since buying a home is a very large investment, perhaps the largest ever, a small amount of money now pledged for research can save the homeowner a lot of money going forward,” said John Harris, broker / owner of ReMax Honolulu and President of Hawaii Realtors.

A seller desperate to unload a home might be motivated to hide plumbing problems or other issues that could haunt you later. Sellers may be unaware of hidden defects in their homes – issues that you may not want to deal with.

“A house doesn’t have a control lamp for the engine. There can be things wrong that the homeowner or buyer honestly doesn’t know about, ”says Frank Lesh, Ambassador for the American Society of Home Inspectors.

What is the average cost of a house search?

House inspection prices vary widely depending on the location, size and age of a house.

“Home inspections generally cost between $ 300 and $ 450,” said Angie Hicks, co-founder of home service website Angie’s List.

Hicks says buyers can expect to pay at least $ 400 for a home inspection from a reputable company on an average 2,000 square foot home. However, the price can easily go up to $ 500 or over $ 600 if you have a larger home or need additional inspections such as mold or termites that are usually not included.

Other factors that affect how much an inspection can cost are the differences in the home and the distance the inspector must travel to get to the home. In addition, home inspectors with more experience may charge more than those with less experience.

How long does a house search take?

The home inspection usually takes three or four hours, says Hicks. It is advisable to make an appointment with a house inspector shortly after signing a sales contract so that you have the report before the notice period has expired.

It is best to attend the inspection so that you can observe and ask questions or provide information to the inspector. Within a day or two, you can expect a written report on the condition of the buildings and systems, often with photos of problems the inspector may have seen.

What does a house search include?

The home inspector should do a thorough visual inspection of the property’s key structures and systems.

“[They] typically contain an overview of the four main systems in a home – structure and foundation, roof, plumbing, and electrical – along with the equipment they contain and potential safety hazards, ”says Harris.

Check for water ingress in the house

Signs of water within the structure would be a major concern. “Water in the wrong place can make a house uninhabitable. A water leak could cause mold to grow and wood to rot, ”says Lesh. “It can take years for a slow roof leak to become visible to the homeowner, while a storm can cause a sudden leak that anyone can see.” Inspectors can tell you if there are any signs of previous leaks.

Reporting on the condition of the roof of the house

House inspectors assess the condition of the roof and check for leaks. “It doesn’t matter whether the roof is good or bad. There is no incentive for the inspector to find a problem or not, ”says Lesh. “It is against the ASHI Code of Ethics to repair anything we inspect, so we only report what we see.”

Checking the electrical systems on the property

Many electrical problems can be fixed easily and cheaply if they are discovered in good time.

“However, an inexpensive repair can be fatal if it’s not done right away,” says Lesh.

For example, a malfunctioning Earth Fault Interrupter (GFCI) only costs about $ 10, so many people think it’s barely worth reporting. However, if the GFCI is not installed or not working, an electric shock can result. ”Home inspectors check every accessible GFCI to make sure it is working properly.

In general, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a full home inspection report should cover the following areas:

  • Heating system
  • air conditioning
  • installation
  • Electrical system
  • roof
  • Attic
  • Visible insulation
  • walls
  • Cover
  • Floors
  • window
  • Doors
  • Foundation, endowment
  • Basement and components

What special home inspections might be required?

Home inspectors recommend specialists to home buyers to provide insight into alarming results for items that an inspector is not focused on. This can include soil and geological conditions, Harris says.

Optional inspection services you can add include:

  • septic
  • Fountain
  • radon
  • asbestos
  • Termites

A civil engineer or foundation specialist can be recommended to further assess a foundation problem, for example. The specialist can make offers and recommendations to correct the problem. Before releasing the inspection quota in your sales contract, get a professional opinion so that you can use it as a negotiating tool with the seller.

The costs for the expert evaluations vary greatly depending on the specialist area and company. A roofer can make a free quote in hopes of getting the job done. A plumber can charge $ 100 for a site visit while a civil engineer charges $ 800.

How to choose the right home inspector

The best way to see if an inspector is charging you a fair price is to see what other inspectors in your area are charging for houses like the one you are trying to buy. You may be able to shop online – some inspectors post their fees on their websites.

Whether you hire a home inspector recommended by your real estate agent or one you find yourself, Hicks recommends that you seek evidence of state certification or membership of industry groups like the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), the National Association of Home. to ask inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Angie’s List also recommends finding a professional who has performed at least 1,000 inspections and has at least three to five years of full-time experience.

You can also request a sample report to get an idea of ​​how thorough each inspector is. A sample report indicating a more thorough inspection could justify the higher price of an inspector. The answers you get when you ask around give you some leeway to determine what to pay for.

In the end, whether you use the information to negotiate repairs or concessions from the seller, or avoid a bad deal altogether, you can save a lot with the money you spend on a home inspection.

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