A Few Thoughts on Home Inspections

Written by Posted On Friday, 11 April 2014 07:18

What is a home inspection? Not to be confused with a home appraisal, which is an estimate of home’s value, an inspection is a more in-depth investigation of a home’s overall condition. Inspections are designed to turn up any problems with the house that might result in difficulty or expense for a prospective owner selling or buyer buying. Although a licensed home inspector is the expert in charge of your inspection, there are a few general things you might want to know to understand what an inspection might entail.

If you are selling a home, you’ll want to make sure that your house is in good condition, both structurally and in terms of systems like heating and air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems so that it will sail through a home inspection. If an inspection turns up any existing or potential problems, the buyer may ask the seller to fix the issues of concern or perhaps make a slight deduction to the home price so that they buyer will be able to afford repairs. In the interest of avoiding any surprises, before listing, some sellers choose to be more proactive by independently hiring an inspector at the outset of the home selling process to determine whether there are any major concerns to address before listing.

When an inspection is conducted on a property that you’re selling, there’s no need for you to worry about things like cleanliness or interior decorating. An inspector doesn’t care about these details. However, do expect a thorough examination of the foundation, roof, exterior, porches or desks, attic, garage, and even the driveway. All systems should be up to code. If anything is in imminent danger of failing (at the end of its useful life) or needing repairs, the inspector will include those issues in a final report.

Whether a seller or a buyer, it is a good idea to follow the inspector around so you can ask questions and get clarification of findings. Inspections should be carried out by licensed home inspectors, and they vary from state to state. An average inspection in New England costs between $300-$450 with additional fees for optional inspections such as:  wood destroying insects, radon, water testing, lead testing, well water and septic inspections.

Real estate agents generally have connections that are useful in locating a professional home inspector, so whether you’re a buyer or a seller, if you have any questions about inspections, you should call your agent in order to understand the process further.

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