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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a home inspection take?

The average home inspection takes two to four hours, or about an hour and a half for condos. Inspection time varies depending on home size, inspector experience, and thoroughness. After the inspection, it can take 24 to 48 hours to receive the inspector's report.

What is a four-point home inspection?

A four-point inspection checks a home's plumbing, roofing, electrical wiring, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) to ensure they meet current safety standards. It’s often performed for homes in areas prone to inclement weather events, such as flooding and tornadoes, and older houses. A four-point inspection is sometimes required to get homeowner's insurance.

How much does a home inspection cost?

A home inspection costs between $300 and $1,000, depending on the home's size, property location, and scope of the inspection. Prices vary by inspector, so it's best to get several quotes before committing to one.

Who pays for home inspection?

It's typically the buyer's responsibility to pay for a home inspection, although the seller may cover the cost sometimes. Sellers can also choose to pay for a pre-listing inspection to uncover problems that might arise during a buyer's inspection. This gives them the chance to make necessary repairs before putting the home on the market.

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What to look for in a home inspection?

Your home inspector should check for:

  • Structural integrity of walls and floors
  • Plumbing issues, including signs of water damage
  • Faulty or outdated electrical wiring
  • Roof and siding damage
  • Gutter drainage
  • Problems with windows and doors
  • HVAC functionality
  • Signs of pest infestation
  • Condition of major appliances, if included with the sale
  • Condition of deck and porch

What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection?

If an inspection reveals severe problems, many lenders won't agree to finance the home purchase until they are fixed. This can include building code violations, structural concerns, mold, water damage, fire hazards, and other issues that can affect the buyer's health and safety.

When to walk away after home inspection?

Home inspections may uncover serious hidden concerns, such as mold in the walls or the need for new electrical wiring, that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. If the seller is unwilling to pay for the repairs, it may be time to consider walking away from the deal. Unpermitted work (work done on the home without a permit) can be a dangerous safety hazard, so this is another reason to back out of the sale.

What to expect from a home inspection?

During a home inspection, the inspector will walk through the home and take notes and pictures for any problems that they find. The inspector's job is to provide an objective opinion of the home's condition so you can make an informed purchasing decision.

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What does a home inspection cover?

A home inspection covers all readily accessible and visible areas of the property, including bedrooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, basement, attic, garage, and porch or patio. Inspectors do not move appliances or other heavy objects to check for problems.

Do sellers get a copy of home inspection report?

Home inspection reports are the property of the client, so inspectors can only share the report with them. Some sellers may pay for part of the inspection costs, and in this case, they'll receive a copy of the report. Buyers can choose to share a copy of the report with sellers, but they aren't obligated to do so.

Who attends a home inspection?

There isn't a requirement for any specific person to attend a home inspection aside from the inspector themselves. Many buyers prefer to attend so they can learn more about the property and ask questions about its condition during the walk-through. The buyer's agent and the seller's listing agent sometimes also attend.

Is a home inspection and appraisal the same thing?

A home inspection checks the overall condition of the property, while an appraisal determines the home's financial value. Appraisers determine value by comparing the home with similar recent home sales in the area. Lenders usually require an appraisal for financing.

Do home inspections check for asbestos?

Home inspections rarely look for asbestos because inspectors can't take apart the walls and ceiling to check. Most home inspectors are not certified in asbestos testing, which involves taking samples of walls. Inspectors can only point out areas where asbestos might be suspected, but professional testing is needed to confirm its presence.

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What happens after a home inspection?

After the inspection, you and your agent will review the findings noted on the inspector's report. At this point, you can choose to move forward with the purchase or ask for repairs to be made. The seller may agree to make the repairs or provide credits for you to pay for repairs yourself. You can also decide to cancel the purchase contract if the inspection findings aren't acceptable and the seller refuses to negotiate repairs.

Does home inspection affect appraisal?

Home inspectors and appraisers work independently and do not share their findings with each other, so the inspection has no tangible effect on a home's appraisal. Home inspections are done before the appraisal for other reasons, however. If the inspection is poor, you can back out of the sale without paying for an appraisal, which can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

What should I ask during home inspection?

Attending the inspection gives you the opportunity to hear the inspector's thoughts on a property, which can be valuable when making a purchasing decision. Always ask about the condition of the roof, plumbing, electrical wiring, and other major components, and find out how long the inspector thinks they will last. Ask what the biggest problems are with the home, what the inspector recommends fixing first, and how much it might cost.

Do insurance companies inspect homes?

Insurance companies inspect homes to determine potential liabilities, which can cause increased premiums or even policy cancellation if problems are too severe. An insurance company inspection might be required if the home is old or hasn't been inspected in many years.

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What should buyers do during home inspection?

Ideally, buyers should attend the inspection so they can talk with the inspector throughout the process. If you have questions or concerns about the property, bring them up before the inspection begins. During the inspection, it's a good idea to check light switches, appliances, sinks, and toilets to make sure everything is in working order.

Do banks require home inspections?

If you're getting a mortgage loan from a bank, a home inspection is not required, and it’s unnecessary to provide the bank with a copy of the results. The bank requires an appraisal, however. This determines the value of the home so the bank doesn't give you a loan for more than it's worth.

Do lenders require home inspections?

Mortgage lending companies rarely require a home inspection to give you a loan. Some lenders might request an inspection for specific potential problems, though. These can include termites, septic system issues, and lead-based paint. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans expect a basic home assessment that's like an inspection, but not as in-depth.

Who verifies repairs after a home inspection?

If repairs need to be made, you can verify the work by ordering a re-inspection. This usually isn't necessary if the repairs were done by a licensed contractor and the correct permits for the work were pulled. If the seller handled the repairs, though, a re-inspection can help ensure that the work was performed correctly.

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