One of the proudest moments of your life will be purchasing a new home and it is most likely the biggest investment you will ever make. While searching for a house can be both exciting and frustrating, the actual process of buying a home after you’ve found it comes in quite a few steps. From getting approval to your mortgage lender to signing the paperwork and getting the keys, there are many steps that must be taken along the way. Aside from securing financing, home inspection will be a vital and most important aspect of the process. Knowing what condition the home and its features are in before purchasing it is well worth the money spent. The cost of the inspection can vary based on several factors. Let’s take a look at what home inspection entails, as well as what you can expect the cost of home inspection to be.
What Is Inspected?
If something of significance is found to be wrong with the home, it can be used either as a negotiation piece or a way out of the purchase completely. However, it is important to understand that no home is perfect, so knowing what to be concerned about is helpful. Here are the main components that will be included in a typical home inspection designated to examine and identify any health, safety, or major mechanical issues:
- Signs of water damage
- Structural or foundational issues – these types of problems occur especially in older homes or if the land underneath the home was not properly prepared prior to building.
- Insulation and windows
- Age and the condition of the roof
- Examination of attic or any crawl space
- If there is a fireplace, its safety will be inspected – these are often overlooked but can pose serious safety concerns if there is any damage or alterations made.
- Electrical system throughout the entire home
- Plumbing system, including septic and water heaters
- Signs of infestations – termites are the biggest culprits of infestations and they can cause severe damage to the wood components of your home’s structure.
- HVAC system and furnace
Most importantly, home inspectors will focus on the health and safety concerns of the home, major defects, and that everything is up to the required code. Home inspectors are not looking for cosmetic flaws such as peeling wallpaper or broken cupboards, because those issues are not impactful on the inhabitants of the home.
The average home inspection will last between two and four hours, depending on the condition of the home and the size and features. Upon completion, the home inspector will provide a detailed report of their findings. From here, it is up to the potential buyer to decide which direction to take moving forward. If there is nothing substantially wrong or concerning included in the report, continuing with the purchase of the home is logical. However, if there are costly issues found with the house, the buyers can do one of these few things:
- Request additional or special inspections
- Renegotiate the sale price of the home to account for the costs the buyers must pay to fix the issues that have been identified
- Ask that certain repairs be made by the owners prior to closing on the home. Be careful of using this option, some sellers will find the cheapest solution possible, which is not always the best route.
- Cancel the purchase agreement entirely if acceptable terms cannot be reached regarding the issues found in the home inspection
One last thing to note about the home inspection is that many get confused and think that home inspection is the same as an appraisal. An appraisal is a step in the process in which the mortgage lender seeks to value the house to ensure that the home is actually worth what it is being sold for. If the buyer is unable to make the payments on the mortgage, the lender wants to make sure they can sell the house to recoup the amount that was lent for the home.
Home Inspection Cost
Something that we like to mention when people start to look for their dream home is to remember to budget in all the out-of-pocket expenses that are required in order to get the keys. The home inspection cost is one of the small costs, compared to the price of the house, which will need to be an out-of-pocket expense during the closing process. According to data collected by HomeAdvisor, the national average home inspector cost is around $330, while the typical range that most average-size homes can expect is between $275-$390. As stated above, there are several factors that determine the final cost that you will pay for your home inspection.
- Homes under 1,000 square feet will typically be around the $200 mark for the cost of an inspection
- Homes over 2,000 square feet will generally cost $400 or more
- You can have the home tested for mold, radon, lead and asbestos that will be additional costs but are typically cheaper if added on to a base home inspection
- Radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer, should be inspected for and the cost of this is between $100-200
- Asbestos test can cost $400-800 on average, but removal can cost upwards of $30,000. Asbestos was commonly used in home construction up until 1989, so this inspection is not mandatory for newer homes.
- Mold – there are six common types of mold that are tested for. The cost of mold inspection is around $800
- Lead – homes constructed prior to 1978 should be inspected for the use of lead paint and pipes, and this test on average costs around $300
- Some inspectors charge a flat rate per square foot of living space or under the roof space (per square feet), while others may charge by the amount of time spent (per hour).
While a baseline home inspection will only cost a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the home, additional tests may be necessary. While these inspections will cost you money upfront, they could end up saving you large amounts of money in the long run by identifying any significant issues prior to purchasing the home. The first question you should ask when looking to schedule a home inspector is, “how much does a home inspection cost?” Then you can follow up with questions on additional testing and the inspection company’s certifications and experience.
If you are looking for your dream home in the Phoenix metro market, you should know that Jeff Barchi is the best real estate agent in Phoenix. For over 20 years, we have been helping people such as yourself buy and sell homes in the wonderful cities of the Valley. Our track record of success speaks for itself, but you can rest assured knowing that we will make the home buying or selling process as painless and simple as possible. From helping you find your dream home to knowing the answer to, “how much is a home inspection” and who to use, we have established our business as one of the best realtors in the area. Contact us today to find out how buying or selling your home can become a reality sooner rather than later.