There’s a reason two in five first-time homebuyers find the most stressful experience in modern life to be the process of buying a home. It is not the same as purchasing a new winter coat or the latest iPhone — a house is an investment in the nucleus of one’s life. Such an important investment cannot be treated like an impulsive purchase made while browsing the aisles of Target. You need to know what you are buying, including the strengths and, more importantly, the weaknesses of your future Central Oregon home. The best way to learn as much as you can about your investment and ensure the home is in good condition is with a home inspection. Below are answers to a lot of the questions you may have about home inspections.
How much is a home inspection?
Multiple factors need to be considered in the price of a home inspection: the size of the property, the property’s location, the thoroughness of the inspection, and even the expertise of the home inspector. Due to the number of considerations that determine the price, it’s impossible to give a broad stroke estimate of a home inspection. It is also important to note that home inspections don’t all cover the same parameters, and, in some cases, specialists might be needed to inspect more specific issues like mold, radon, and sewage. Due to the variability in the pricing, it is essential that you shop around and compare the rates of multiple inspectors to ensure that you get the best price possible. Be sure to ask what is covered in a “routine” inspection as the list of items can vary depending on the location of the home.
What do home inspections cover?
As mentioned earlier, home inspections can vary in coverage, largely due to differing state laws. Fortunately, certified home inspectors must adhere to a set of requirements outlined by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which gives home buyers a standard to expect when working with any home inspector. Things they will look at include the following:
- Wall, ceiling, floor, stairway, and entrance conditions
- Roof condition
- Appliance functionality
- Fire and carbon monoxide alarm functionality
- Septic tank and plumbing functionality
- House and garage foundations
- Electrical outlet, circuit breaker, and wiring functionality
- Ventilation performance
- Insulation performance
Anything else is not guaranteed to be covered by an inspection, so make sure to check with any home inspector for a full breakdown of their coverage. Inspectors typically do not check swimming pools, mold, or asbestos in their inspections, so a specialist might be necessary for those areas.
What should you look for in a home inspector?
Few people jump on the first realtor they come across when looking to buy a home, and the same should hold true when choosing a home inspector. Homes are vast spaces with numerous components that need to be checked and since inspections rely entirely on an inspector’s individual perceptiveness, one should look toward reputation and expertise when shopping for a home inspector. Things to consider include the inspector’s property-style focus (commercial or residential), the number of inspections they have completed in the past, and customer testimonials. Additionally, an easy way to evaluate the thoroughness of an inspector is to ask for a sample report.
Buying a new house is a daunting and oftentimes terrifying process — but for a good reason. Homes are an investment, and you must be intentional and thorough every step of the way to ensure that you are happy with your purchase and get the best bang for your buck. By hiring a home inspector, you are able to approach the sale with more confidence in what you are purchasing, as well as more information about the inner functionality of your (potentially) future home.