A home inspection today could save you thousands of dollars tomorrow. It’s true. No matter how sound your new home may seem, stuff happens. Some problems are just unforeseeable, especially to the untrained eye.
Avoid nasty surprises that crop up after your loan is closed by hiring a professional, licensed and certified home inspector to thoroughly examine your new home before you sign on the dotted line.
Many mortgage lenders today actually require a home inspection before releasing loan proceeds. Often an inspector will identify small problems with the potential to become big problems. Mortgage lenders who require home inspections want to make sure their collateral holds its value and you, the buyer, should require it too.
Home Inspection an Investment in Your Investment
Professional home inspectors can vary significantly in price. The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” applies to home inspections too. Many home inspectors charge a flat fee. Others charge by the square footage of living space. Some charge a percentage of the home price. Home inspectors may even charge by the hour – generally around $100 per hour.
If you’re already strapped to come up with a down payment and closing costs, the price can seem like a lot. On the other hand, compare it to the cost of a new heating and cooling system that could go on the blink within weeks after you purchase, or some other catastrophic undetected required repair and you’ll begin to realize what a bargain a home inspection really is.
When hiring a home inspector, ask about specific costs up front. Ask for a published list of items that will be included in the inspection. Ask to review a contract before you agree to hire a professional. And, never be afraid to ask for references. A quality home inspector will be delighted to provide you with references that tout his or her great work.
Your home inspection should include, at minimum, the following:
- Exterior grading
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system
- Water heater
- Air conditioning
- Crawl spaces
- Sprinkler system
- Swimming pool
- Septic tank
- Sea wall
A thorough home inspection report will help you rest easy knowing the home you are purchasing is up to par. Or, based on a home inspection you will be able to anticipate the cost of repairs needed to bring the home up to your and your lender’s standards.