One of the most important aspects of a home purchase is having a home inspection. A home inspection is crucial because it is your line of defense. A thorough home inspection may open your eyes to very expensive problems and provide the information that you need to make informed decisions about the house that you are thinking about buying.
As a purchaser you need to get as much information as you can about your potential house purchase. A properly performed inspection will take around 2-1/2 too 3 hours to perform. The cost of a good home inspector will range from $450 to $650 dollars depending on the area of the county that you live in. Home inspections in the northeast tend to be more expensive then those performed in the middle sections of the country.
The inspection report will provide information about the systems in the home as well as the defects and problems that are found in the home. A good inspection report will be narrative and clearly state the problems that exist in the home. The inspection report will also state the possible ramifications if the problems or defects are not repaired. The inspection will also describe all of the visible safety defects in clear language.
The home inspection may provide the buyer with the potential for re-negotiation with the seller. Although not its main purpose, if the inspection uncovers problems it often leads to a discussion or renegotiation of the purchase price. A good home inspection in most cases will pay for itself in terms of concessions from the seller and in peace of mind to the buyer of the property. You may be able to ask for corrective actions to be performed, credits back or you may be able to walk away from the transaction if more then expected problems are found in the home.
Some of the systems that will be inspected are the heating, air conditioning (provided it is warm enough), electrical, plumbing, roofing, chimney, basement, garage, attic, exterior, structure, foundation, windows, doors, walls, ceilings, flooring, ventilation, and insulation. Most home inspections will also include radon testing and wood destroying insect inspection as well.
The are some limitations to a home inspection. It is not a code inspection. The home inspector will not be able to comment on whether or not the structure and the systems in the home meet current codes. A home inspection is not a warranty. A home inspector can not foresee all unexpected breakdowns and malfunctions. Systems and components can fail without warning. You may want to consider purchasing a home warranty which may provide you with a greater peace of mind after you move into the home. An inspection is limited to the visual and accessible components only. The home inspector will not be able to inspect or comment on the hidden components in the home.
As with anything an inspection does have some limitations. But a properly performed and thorough inspection can bring to light many problems that you are not aware of and may save thousands of dollars in the long run. An inspection is too much of an important step in the buying process to forgo.