What is a home inspection & why is it important?

A good home inspection is an objective, top-to-bottom examination of a home. The standard home inspection report includes a review of the heating and air-conditioning systems, plumbing and wiring, roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation and basement. 

Getting a professional inspection is an important step in the home buying process to help protect and educate you as the buyer.  Not only will the home inspection highlight any defects or potential problems with the home, a good home inspector will also educate you about the operation of the home's mechanical systems and home maintenance in the future.

 

Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

Your real estate agent may be able to provide you with a list of home inspectors working in your area, but it is very important to choose a certified home inspector. The link below will direct you to The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) web-site where you can search for a home inspector using an address, zip code or metro area.  You can also locate a home inspector by last name, area code or company name.  The website also includes a very helpful FAQ section:

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) website

 

Home inspections cost about a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of the house and location.  You may find the cost of inspection high, but it is money well spent. Think of it as an investment in your investment your future home.

 

Inspection Timing and Results

You will arrange for a home inspection after signing a contract or purchase agreement with the seller. The results of the home inspection may be available immediately or within a few days. The home inspector will review his or her findings with you and alert you to any costly or potentially hazardous conditions.  

You may choose to make your home purchase contingent upon satisfactory inspection results. If major problems are found, you will not be required to go through with the purchase, and all deposit monies will be returned.  If costly repairs are warranted, the seller may be willing to adjust the home's price or the contract's terms. But when only minor repairs are needed, the buyer and seller can usually work out an agreement that won't affect the sale price.