A home inspector shaking a lady's hand.

Home Inspections and Why They’re Important

What is a Home Inspection?

So, you have seen a house up for sale and you really want it to be yours. It’s everything you have ever wanted in a home and you just cannot wait to move in. If this is you, my candid advice would be that you hold off on that for a minute. Why? The reason is pretty simple; you need a home inspection. So, what is a home inspection?

In this article, we will take deep dives into what a home inspection is, the importance of it, what a home inspector looks out for, how to get a home inspector, and the average fee you will pay.

What Exactly is a Home Inspection?

The American Society of Home Inspectors defines a home inspection as a visual examination of the physical structure of a house and a house's systems, from roof to foundation.

Investopedia also defines a home inspection as the observing and reporting of the condition of a real estate property.

When a home inspector comes for an inspection, the inspector’s job is to identify potential issues with the house and give workable solutions.

When Can a Home Inspection Happen?

Many sellers carry out a home inspection before putting the house up in the market. But as a buyer, you are only allowed to bring in a home inspector after you and the seller have signed a purchase agreement.

It is vital that the sales contract has an inspection contingency. This gives you the right to hire a home inspector to check the house. Depending on the home inspector’s report, you can then decide to renegotiate the price or cancel the contract.

Why is a Home Inspection Important?

When getting anything, especially something as important as a home, you must do your due diligence. A home inspection helps you avoid several 'hidden' deficiencies in a home. Some of the reasons why you need an inspection include:

It Saves You Money

A house inspection gives you better insight into how good — or bad — a house is. When a home inspector looks through your house, they tell you what is deficient in the house and how to go about fixing them.

Most times, when the reports from a home inspector are filled with renovation and repair suggestions, it will encourage you, the buyer, to sit on the table again for renegotiation. While it is not commonplace for sellers to carry out the identified renovations, most sellers often reduce their asking price when presented with a damning inspector’s report. That’s pretty interesting, right?

It Saves on Mental Fatigue

A thorough inspection allows you to rest assured that the house you are buying is suitable and safe. Many people who have bought homes without an adequate home inspection later found out the hard way that there were things that needed fixing in the house. Most people are not prepared for this extra spending. One way or another, this usually leads to unnecessary mental fatigue.

How to Get a Home Inspection?

There are no hard and fast rules to finding a reliable home inspector to inspect your house, but there are a few ways you can get a good house inspector.

1. Ask Friends and Families

Personal recommendations are great when looking for home inspectors. Asking friends and families for contacts of home inspectors' numbers will save you a lot of stress. If the home inspectors did an excellent job for your friend, the chances are high that they would do the same for you.

2. Check Online

There are associations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors that provide an extensive database of professional home inspectors.

You can also check online communities like Patch and NextDoor to see reviews of home inspectors.
Note: When hiring a home inspector, you must find a home inspector with experience in the type of house you want to buy. If you are buying an old Victorian home, you need a home inspector with significant old home experience.

What to Expect from a Home Inspection

It will not cover all the bases in the house, but it will cover:

  • Electrical systems
  • Roofing
  • Foundation
  • Heating and cooling systems (HVAC)
  • Walls, ceiling, and flooring
  • Plumbing systems
  • Windows and doors
  • Pests

A home inspector will check for these and more, suggest potential solutions, and give a report. The report will contain the faults and solutions to these problems. Also, you can expect to see pictures of a few important things included in the report.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

Costs, on average, around $279 to $399. Most times, the price depends on the experience of the home inspector and the size of the home.