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Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers

Friday, July 8, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers

When it comes to buying a home, one of the largest financial commitments one will make during their lifetime, there are few elements more crucial than the home inspection. As such, we’re going to give you the rundown on everything you need to know about home inspections as well as provide you with a checklist, so you’re equipped when the time comes.

What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a thorough, comprehensive examination of a home’s physical structure and systems, both internal and external, and typically occurs during the home buying and selling process. Home inspections are performed by licensed home inspectors and unearth any major problems with the home that need to be addressed.

Home Inspections vs Home Appraisals
As previously noted, home inspections are in-depth analyses of a home that aid in identifying serious problems that may later become dangerous or expensive.

On the other hand, home appraisals are an evaluation of a property's value. Home appraisals consider any problems the house might have that might reduce its worth, although they are not as detailed and also examine other aspects including the house's location and the property values of other homes.

Home appraisals also serve a completely other function. Home inspections are typically ordered by the buyer and are primarily used to assess the structural integrity and safety of the home. To protect themselves in the event that a homeowner should default on their loan, lenders most frequently conduct appraisals to make sure they are not loaning out more money than a home is worth.

Why Are Home Inspections Important?
Home inspections are important because what glitters isn’t always gold. Although a home may appear to be in good condition, once inspected, major issues may be unearthed that compromise the safety of the dwelling, potentially costing the new homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs at best. At worst, the home could be unsafe to live in and jeopardize a family’s health and safety

As such, home inspections are becoming common again in the home buying and selling process. So much so that home inspection contingencies are often put into place to protect the buyer in the event that major issues may come to light. Home inspection contingencies allow the buyer to back out of a sale once in escrow without losing money in the process.

How Much Do Home Inspections Typically Cost?
You can expect to spend anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple thousand on the very high end, depending on the size of the dwelling.

Should I Expect Any Other Costs?
Sometimes, a home inspection will uncover issues that may require an additional inspection.

Some common secondary inspections include radon, termite, asbestos, lead, and mold to name a few. Although it’s clearly not ideal to need a secondary inspection, it may be necessary to ensure you’re moving into a safe environment.

Choosing the Right a Home Inspector
While it’s not a bad idea to shop around for the right home inspector, generally, a good real estate agent will have a trusted home inspector or home inspection company they know will be thorough and get the job done right. You may want to shop around a bit on your own, but starting with your agent is always going to be your best be.

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection
If you’re a buyer, you’ll want to review the home inspection checklist provided below. Additionally, it’s never a bad idea to attend the inspection yourself, so you can ask questions in real-time. Try not to get hung up on minor details, but rather spend time digging into any major issues the home inspector may bring to light that could be potential deal-breakers.

If you are a homeowner who has come across this checklist, some items may not be safe for you to check yourself and should not be assessed by you; these items include looking inside the crawl space and electrical work because inspectors have the necessary tools and PPE to assess these items. However, no house is perfect. As you can see, despite checking for everything, house inspectors pay close attention to major red flags, so you should too.

Please get in touch with us if you have any more inquiries concerning home inspections or the purchasing or selling of a home.