Everything homebuyers need to know about home inspections
Buying a house isn't cheap. If you're looking to buy, you can expect to spend $374,900 on average. As one of the most significant purchases you'll (likely) ever make, you'll want to make sure it's worth the price. But how do you do that?
A home inspection is a reliable way of making sure the house you're buying is right for you. The inspection covers everything from checking structural integrity to an overview of the plumbing and wiring systems. A reliable home inspection is one of the most important parts of buying a new property. We understand that buying a house can be a long and often overwhelming process, so we're here to help! So here's everything you should know about home inspections.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of a property. It typically occurs after the seller accepts an offer and before the buyer fully commits to purchasing it (during the diligence period). There are also instances where sellers get an inspection before listing their home. Qualified home inspectors assess the condition of a property based on its heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical work, water supply, fire and safety compliance, and other essential things. In short - everything that makes a space hospitable for you and your family.
It's also important to note that home inspections are very different than home appraisals and should not be confused with each other.
Why do you need a home inspection?
The average American household spent more than $13,000 on unexpected home repairs last year. Over 36% of all American homeowners cite unexpected repairs and maintenance as the biggest reason for their regret of buying a house. This is what makes home inspections so important.
A few other reasons why you should get a home inspection:
1. Understanding the condition of your home
It is absolutely essential for things like the foundation (including the pillars), roofing, and internal wiring of a house to be in good condition. If not, they can turn into safety hazards for you and your family. A thorough home inspection can help you uncover all of these things before your purchase (and move in).
2. Renegotiating with confidence
When you book an inspection with Inspectify, we provide you with free repair cost estimates for your entire inspection report (something other guys charge $100+ for). With accurate information in your hand, you can renegotiate the closing price with ease. Or, if the sellers aren't willing to budge, walk away from the deal with confidence (that you made the correct decision).
3. Preparing for future repairs
Buying a house is costly as it is. As shown earlier, no one likes unexpected repairs. A good home inspector will provide you with the ages and (estimated) lifespans of your home's structures and systems. This can help you budget for repairs in advance, so you aren't caught by surprise.
Remember, home inspectors are generalists. Their job is to walk you through the home and help you understand any defects the property has. They aren't there to tell you if you should purchase the home, or how much repairs will cost, but to make sure you are aware of its problems.
When should you get a home inspection?
Ideally, a home inspection should happen in the diligence period between after the seller accepts your offer and before you close. This period is designed to give you enough time to complete all of the requirements to close (inspection, appraisal, funding, etc).
As a homeowner, it is recommended to get a home inspection done every 1-2 years. Defects in your home will slowly develop over time. By getting frequent inspections, you can find and address them before they become big and costly).
As a seller, it is also a good idea to get an inspection done before listing your house on the market. This way you can make a comprehensive list of repairs that the house needs and get them done before a buyer sets foot on the property. By repairing defects before the buyer finds them, you can skip renegotiations and settle close to your asking price.
With Inspectify, you can expect your inspection report within 24 hours of completing the inspection (it can take much longer elsewhere). This gives you more time to discuss and renegotiate as needed.
How much does a home inspection cost?
The cost of a home inspection depends on a lot of factors. Location (i.e, how far the inspector would have to drive to get to the property) and size of the house are the two most important factors when it comes to deciding this. Inspectors can also charge you varying amounts depending on the ancillary services they provide, the overall quality of their service, and their experience. A typical home inspection ranges from $300-$500.
Who should attend a home inspection?
Typically the buyer and their agent will attend the inspection. At Inspectify, we highly encourage all buyers to attend their home inspection. The inspector's entire job is to help you understand the condition of the home. You should attend and ask as many questions as you need to understand the condition of the home.
How can Inspectify help you?
With Inspectify, booking and conducting home inspections is a breeze. Here are a few ways that we make your life easier:
1. Simple instant booking
Our online platform allows you to book inspections for the exact time and date you like in a matter of minutes. Our team will handle the logistics, so you can focus your time on other things that need to get done before closing.
2. Easy to read inspection report
Our standardized inspection report presents all the relevant information to you in a lucid, easy-to-understand format. Every defect on the report is classified into three categories: Safety, Repair, and Monitor. This helps you schedule all repairs in an intelligent, priority-based order.
3. Free repair cost estimates
We use local pricing data to estimate how much repairs will cost you. With this information, you can renegotiate the contract with ease and arrive at a fair closing price for the property.
Buying a house can be a long and stressful process. From the time you start looking at listings to when you finally close on a deal, a lot of things need to be taken care of. Understanding the legal and technical jargon behind all this can be difficult, especially for first-time buyers. We hope this article helped de-mystify home inspections for you!
Still have questions about inspections? Feel free to reach out or leave a comment and we'd be happy to help!