A home inspection is a general overview of the home you have decided to purchase. A proper home inspection reveals hidden problems, so you can repair them now and save thousands later.
Why do you need a home inspection?
As a home buyer, a thorough inspection will identify any major concerns before you sign the closing paperwork. The home inspection will help identify any issues that may require further inspection from other professionals.
What does a home inspection include?
A professional inspector will visually check your home for damage or needed repairs. During a typical home inspection, they’ll examine your:
Electrical system overview
Interior and exterior structure
Any other major components of your home
What affects the price of a home inspection?
The home inspection price is calculated based on any number of variables:
Crawl Space vs. Attic
Type of home (single family vs. condo)
How long will a home inspection take?
The home inspector will need 2 hours to inspect the home. The home buyer will arrive after the inspection and the home inspector will review the findings. Expect an inspection to take between one to two hours, depending on the size of the home. After the inspector is finished, they will give you a home inspection report with the findings.
Does a home inspection cover everything?
No. Because there are so many elements that depend on your home’s construction and location, you may need additional inspections. Sometimes, your primary home inspector can add on these services to a normal inspection.
If not, you’ll need to hire a professional with specific expertise. Your real estate agent or mortgage broker can typically advise you on which tests are necessary in your area. For example, some regions require a Radon test; in others, it would be unnecessary.
The vast majority of issues raised during a home inspection are repairable—after all, you’re buying a “used home.” Just like a used car or an old computer or second-hand clothing, there are bound to be problems. Some of them may be small and easily fixed, like leaky pipes and rattling door knobs. But if an inspector discovers a major problem—with, say, the foundation or water intrusion—even that may not be a deal killer. In fact, it could be a bargaining chip you can discuss with the sellers before closing the deal
Work with your real estate agent to determine the best approach. If your offer was contingent on a successful inspection (and most are), you have a good basis to request that the current owners make repairs before closing. You’ll want to get this in writing, along with provisions if the sellers fail to fix the problems.
What happens next?
After you receive the findings from the home inspection, it is your decision if you would like additional inspections on particular items. It is important to be completely satisfied with the inner workings of the home you are purchasing to avoid any expensive, and unidentified home repairs after the close of escrow.
In the state of California, per the Residential Purchase agreement, the home is purchased “as-is”, however there is an option to request repairs from the home owner or a credit at close of escrow. These requests are not guaranteed to be fulfilled, and generally, the items that are to be requested are health, safety or code violations. If you, as the buyer, decide that you are uncomfortable with any part of the inspections, or the seller’s response to repairs, you have the option to cancel the escrow.