Home inspections have evolved into larger functions of home purchasing than ever before. I’m going to break it down for you into categories and their stages.
First point. Many of you are trades people or have family members who are; please refrain from using yourself or friends/family as your home inspector. They are always welcome to come along during the home showings to voice concerns. Yes it saves you money to use family/friend however your self appointed inspector isn’t always objective and not fully qualified to do a home inspection. As an example: a carpenter will focus on carpentry and possibly miss an electrical issue. There are of course exceptions.
Standard Home Inspection – ask your agent for recommendations on who to use. This home inspector will be certified, experienced, produce a comprehensive report and assist you in understanding your “new to you” home. Approximate cost – $400 – $600 (2 – 3 hour inspection)
Septic or Sewer Line Inspection – if you are purchasing a home in an urban area, with municipal services, your inspector will inspect and take video of the sewer line from the house to the street. If the home is in a rural area without municipal services, this inspector will inspect the line from the house to the tank, the tank itself and the lines from the tank to the field. $300 – $600 (1-2 hour inspection)
Well Diagnostics – if your property is not on municipal services you will have a service provider test for water flow (how many gallons per minute can be obtained from the well within an hour), if able, the inspector will inspect the pressure tank and pump. In order to obtain financing for this home you will need to have a clean water test (meaning one that doesn’t fail). You have two options. To test for bacteria only ($50 approx.) Or test for bacteria and minerals (approx. $270). In most cases if the water is found to have bacteria or minerals considered dangerous (arsenic, uranium, manganese etc) the home seller is responsible for installing a corrective system to rid the water of the problem.
Contractors – once the inspection(s) are complete you may elect to bring in a contractor to quote on work needed in the home before you commit to its purchase. Your inspector may discover a problem you didn’t see at the time of writing the offer such as poor attic insulation without ventilation. Sometimes an issue is obvious and you’ll have the contractor attend the home inspection to quote at that time (new roof shingles, new electrical panel etc).
The above information is just scratching the surface of each component. By thoroughly challenging the home you are about to buy you will be saving money.
- Finding a problem can result in the seller paying for the remedy or a reduction in purchase price.
- Finding a large problem that cannot be corrected without substantial investment would result in terminating the transaction and saving yourself thousands of dollars in the future.
- Finding nothing wrong with the house when you thought you had to buy new windows only to discover they are perfectly fine.
- Peace of mind – priceless