Here is a list of frequently asked questions that we get, to help make the process go smoothly.
1. What is a Home Inspection?
- A home inspection is an overview of a home, where a licensed inspector examines the home from the inside out to find flaws.
- These flaws could be anywhere, but particularly in the structure, foundation, electrical circuits, or mechanical issues.
- The inspector will test certain things, but they will not cause any damage to the home, making it a “non-invasive” inspection.
2. How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?
- A home inspection typically lasts between 3 and 5 hours, depending on the size of the home.
- Other factors include the age of the home, systems, accessibility and weather.
- Additional services such as wind mitigation, mold and radon testing can increase the inspection length.
3. What is the Difference Between a Home Inspection & an Appraisal?
An appraisal is:
- The process of determining the value of the home, based on various aspects of the home.
- Looking at the size, location, condition, comparable home prices and neighborhood/schools that the home is near.
- The appraisal re-assures the buyer that the home is worth what the buyer is asking, or shows them that they should ask for less.
An inspection is different because:
- It is much more in depth, looking for problems that could decrease the value of the home, not just cosmetic and surface level things.
- Inspections are something that the buyer typically gets, and usually appraisals are done by the seller prior to listing the home.
- The sale of the home is almost always contingent on whether the inspection comes back with little defects, whereas the appraisal isn’t always a factor.
4. Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?
- Home inspections are crucial for a buyer to have – they ensure that the house is in good condition – or that it is damaged and may have costly repairs.
- An inspection is a way to clarify for the buyer the details of the home and can save a buyer from buying a home that is unlivable or potentially dangerous.
- A seller can also get an inspection – so that they know what to fix before selling the home, or just to be transparent to buyers.
5. How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?
The cost of a home inspection will vary depending on the size of the home, location, age, and option tests (such as mold or radon).
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says that the price of a home inspection typically ranges between $300 and $500. However, this doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the inspection, and is likely for newer homes that are very large.
Other price determining factors include:
- Age of the home
- If the inspector needs to travel far to get there
- Additional services (think mold, radon, wind, water testing)
- Number of inspectors performing the inspection
- Square footage of the home – larger means more money
6. Can a House Fail a Home Inspection?
In short, no. There isn’t anything that makes a house “fail” it is simply a summary of things that are wrong with the home.
If there are many things that are wrong with a home, it generally just means that it is unsafe to live there and that the information provided to the buyer is intended to help them make an informed decision when purchasing or not purchasing a home.
7. What Kind of Inspection Report Will I Receive?
The inspector will give you an inspection report after the inspection, complete with pictures – and often videos – of defects in the home.
These reports are top of the line, digital reports that are web-based, but also include a PDF copy of the digital report. At RedBud Inspections, we believe that our reports are among the best because of how much detail and effort we put into every inspection report.
8. Do I Need to be Present During an Inspection?
As the buyer, it is a good idea to be present during the inspection, so that you can see defects that the inspector finds. You can also ask questions and learn more about the home as you walk through the home with the inspector.
We highly recommend that you attend the inspection for a home you are potentially buying.
However, we advise that if you are the seller, you leave the home during a buyer’s inspection. It makes it harder for the inspector to point out defects to the buyer with you nearby.
9. What are the Most Common Issues Found During an Inspection?
The most common issues found are:
- Moisture damage – mold, mildew, humidity in basements
- Plumbing defects
- Electrical wiring problems
- Roof leaks
- Gutter damage and clogging
- HVAC issues
There may be other issues that the inspector finds, however these are some of the most common ones that we and other inspectors see in homes.
10. Is it Okay to Do My Own Inspection?
Performing your own inspection is very risky. While it is better than not doing an inspection at all, it is pretty close.
Unless you have all of the right equipment – and also know how to use it correctly – it is extremely likely that you will miss defects in the home. Home inspectors are trained to specifically look for things, and can catch defects that many people wouldn’t notice.
As the buyer, you may also have a non-objective view of the home that you have fallen in love with, and therefore will likely overlook issues that are a big deal. It is best to schedule an inspection with a professional home inspector to ensure that you are being thorough and get a safe home.