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Home Inspections 1, 2, 3  

2-22-2012

Should I get a home inspection?  Are home inspections required?  What types of home inspections are there and how much do they cost? 

1. Should I get a home inspection? 

Yes, you should get a home inspection.  Most of the time when you make an offer on a property the home inspection will pay for itself through negotiated repairs or credits.

2. Are home inspections required? 

No, it’s entirely up to you whether you get a home inspection.  When would you not get a home inspection you ask?  As a licensed real estate agent we tell you never, there is always a reason to get one.   We tell you it’s worth the extra peace of mind even if you think the home is perfect.  As an agent I’ve never seen a home inspection that was perfect, and I've sold a lot of new homes. 

With that said I’ve had some clients elect not to get a home inspection.  You might avoid a home inspection if you feel you know exactly what you are buying.  Many times the Seller will actually hire a home inspector to eliminate negotiating power by fixing all the problems prior to selling a home so they furnish the prospective Buyer a copy of the home inspection reports and receipts for the completed work. You might avoid the home inspection on a new construction transaction where the builder will guarantee many elements of their workmanship for a period of time.  I’ve had clients purchase a home inspection report in the 11th month after purchasing a new home because the builder said they would fix all issues related to the home for 1 year.  This way as a new home settles you’ll be able to see sheetrock cracks and nail pops, notice squeaky floors and many other things that you would not have noticed when purchasing 11 months previously.   Sometimes a home has issues and every type of inspection has already been completed more than once and the Seller gives you copies of the inspections for free.  If you are an investor or builder and know everything about a home and its potential problems you might skip the home inspection or chose to take a calculated risk.   If the home is priced well you might skip the home inspection because you already know up front that you want to buy it regardless of what comes up and you know for a fact the Seller will not pay for any repairs.  In a short sale the Seller usually will not do any repairs, so this might cause a Buyer to skip the home inspection.  The Seller is already upside down so they will simply say no.  Remember just because something comes up on the home inspection report doesn’t mean the Seller has to fix it or should fix it. 

3. What types of home inspections are there and how much do they cost? 

Below are the basic home inspections people typically pay for when purchasing a home.  You will pay them up-front at the time of the inspection which is as soon as possible after you have an agreed upon contract.  The reason many buyers will pay these fees to hire a qualified inspector is because if there are problems the repairs can cost many thousands of dollars and they want to get them remedied prior to purchasing or they will walk away from the transaction if the Seller will not fix them.  Many times if the Seller was not aware of a problem then the Seller will pay to have it fixed.  The reason Sellers do this is because they will have to disclose the problem to the next Buyer anyway so why not take care of the problem now, deliver a good home, and close the sale. 

General Home Inspection runs between $350-$700 depending on size of home
Sewer Scope runs between $100-$150
Radon Testing runs between $150-$200
Soil Samples, Oil Tank Sweep $200-$250

Depending on what the home inspector says you might employ a company and specialist to inspect the home further for any of the following.  Many times to get an estimate for work below it will be free because the contractor wants to earn the business so they will be glad to provide you a quote. 

Outdoor Irrigation
Plumbing
Electrical
Structural
Roofing
Chimney & Fireplace
Window and Door
Siding


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