How exciting! You've made one of the most important financial and emotional decisions in your life: you’re buying a home! You found your ideal house. It’s in the neighborhood you wanted, close to everything you need, you totally love its design and feel, and you’re ready to finalize the deal.
But wait a minute! Buying a home isn’t like buying a microwave. If you discover something’s wrong with your home, you can’t just return it for a full refund or an even exchange. You’re stuck with your decision. Therefore, before finalizing the transaction, your “ideal” home needs a home inspection to protect you from simply throwing your hard-earned money into a frothing, bottomless money pit.
What is a home inspection? It is a professional visual examination of the home’s roof, electrical systems, plumbing, heating and cooling system, and foundation.
There are essentially two levels of home of inspections. There is a general home inspection and a specialized inspection. Most general inspections cost between $300 and $500. The cost of the specialized inspection varies from type to type. If the inspector recommends a specialized inspection, you'd be smart to take the advice because buying a home is probably the single most important investment you’ll make and you need extra assurance that it's a wise investment.
By having your prospective new home inspected, you possibly can:
Negotiate with the seller to get the home sale-ready at no cost to you
Prevent your insurance rates from rising through the roog
Cancel the purchase contract before you make a co$tly mistake
Save money in both the short and long runs
How Much Money Might a Home Inspection Save You?
Because home inspection help to find potential expenses beyond the set sales price, the homebuyers are in a powerful position for price negotiation. If issues are discovered during this home inspection, buyers can request the sellers either repair them before closing. If the sellers do not want to front the money to complete the repairs, buyers could negotiate a drop in the overall sales price of the home!
Even more importantly, a professional home inspection buys you more peace of mind. Your initial days and months in your new home will set the tone for your future life there, and you certainly don’t want to taint that important time with stressful worries about any hidden problems or potential money black holes.
You will understand how much money a home inspection can save you if you review these numbers from HomeAdvisor to drive the point home … so to speak. (Heh-heh!)
Roof – Roofing problems are one of the most common issues found by home inspections. Roof repairs statistically range between $316 and $1046 and to replace a roof will cost between $4,660 and $8,950.
Plumbing – Don’t underestimate the plumbing. Small leaks can cause damage in the $1,041 and $3,488 range to repair. Your home inspector will look for visible issues with the plumbing such as dripping faucets, water stains near sinks and showers and noisy pipes. Stains on walls, ceilings, and warped floors point to plumbing problems.
Heating and Cooling – Having the home’s heating and/or cooling systems working properly is very important. Your home inspector identifies any problems with the existing system and tells you if the system is past its working life and needs replacing. I'll bet you are not excited to throw down $3,919 to replace an old furnace. Nor do you want to spend $5,238 replacing a faulty air conditioner. Replacing and repairing the darn water heater gets expensive, too. Wouldn’t you rather use your savings for a little vacation?
Electrical Systems – For an electrical system, even a small problem can blossom into thousand-dollar nightmare. Your home inspector examines the electric meter, the wires, the circuit breaker, all the switches and the GCFI outlets and electrical outlets.
Foundation – If your home inspector sees the house is sinking, it could mean water is seeping into the very foundation. Cracks in walls, stuck windows, and a sagging floor also point to foundation problems. The foundation is essential; if the general inspection report shows foundation problems, most lenders will not fund a loan on the home until those issues are addressed. Foundation repairs can reach upwards of $5,880 to repair.
Now you see how a small investment of a few hundred dollars for a professional home inspection could save you a pile of money and avoid future headaches. To save even more money, you might consider investing in specialized home inspections as well. A specialized inspection really explores the extent of the trouble in areas the general home inspection has located.
How Much Money Can a Specialized Inspection Save You?
When a general home inspection calls out the need for a specialized inspection it is because the inspector saw something a little off with the roof, sewer system, heating and cooling system or the foundation. A pest inspection is often recommended. Usually, a pest inspection will check for dangerous mold as well as pests. Many homebuyers will have a Radon test done to ensure good air quality.
Roof – Roof specialists examine the chimney and the flashing surrounding it. They also look at the level of wear-and-tear on the roof. They can tell you generally how long the roof is likely to last before a new one is required. They’ll inspect the downspouts and gutters. The average cost of a roof inspection is about $223. Most roof inspections will cost between $121 and $324. Caveat - Let the roof inspector know that a different roofer will do the repairs if needed.
Sewer System – Check the sewer system before the closing because a small problem could become a large problem in the future. If issues crop up, negotiate with the seller about repairs or replacements before closing. Cost of inspection varies; on the low side, it might be around $95, and on the high side, it might be $790. If applicable, inspect and possibly repair the septic tank, which costs, on average, $1,435 (reaching as high as $4,459). You can see that the cost of an inspection is worth it to catch any problem before you buy.
Heating and Cooling System – An HVAC specialist checks ducts for blockage and ensures consistent maintenance was done on the unit. Repairs needed might be small or big, but this small investment could save you lots of money and hassles.
Foundation – A foundation specialist pinpoints the exact nature of the problem with a foundation. The specialist looks at the grade or slope of the home. Ground should slope away from a structure in every direction half inch per foot. Most homeowners recently have spent between $1,763 and $5,880 to fix their problem foundations. The average cost to re-grade a lawn is $1,705. Most homeowners have paid between $933 and $2,558 to re-slope lawns.
Pest Inspection – Those nasty termites love to eat a home’s wood structure both inside and out, causing thousands of dollars of damage. Other pests might turn your dream home into a living (literally) nightmare. You should a pest/termite inspection every two years or so. Start with your potential new home. Most inspections are very thorough and cost between $109 and $281. Good news! Most pest management company will guarantee the past inspection if the bugs' relatives show up later.
Radon Test – Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible, odorless gas and a leading cause of cancer. A radon test is a good to have done regularly. The cost of radon test is low and its cost varies from state to state. Here’s more information about Radon.
Steps You Can Take to Save Money Using a Home Inspection
To help yourself save with a home inspection, you will need to:
Be at the inspection – Attending an inspection is good because it’s an opportunity for you to get questions answered right then and there.
Check utilities – Checking the utilities let’s you know the energy efficiency of your potential home.
Hire a Qualified Home Inspector – We can recommend reputable, bona-fide home inspectors to you. You can compare our recommendation with all inspectors who belong to the American Society of Home Inspectors. While the decision of who you work with is yours alone, we are happy to help you make a wise home-buying decision.