Buyers and sellers of homes can benefit immensely from having a professional check out the condition of a property. For a seller, the goal is to ensure that they've accurately represented every detail prior to posting a listing. For a buyer, it's still a good idea to verify everything even if the seller had a home inspection services technician come by. Inspections may also be required for insurance purposes, prior to getting a mortgage, or before doing renovations. You might be wondering, though, what you can expect from a home inspection.
Checking Many Systems
The biggest thing home inspectors do is check out a variety of different systems. This includes verifying that the drainage, waste, and ventilation systems in a house are all in good order. Similarly, they will check the conditions of decks, garages, and carports. They'll also hunt for problems like mold, and some offer additional testing for radon and asbestos.
Be aware that an inspector is only verifying that certain things are safe and in good order. They don't provide expert-level advice about, for example, the capacity of the electrical system. If you need that kind of guidance, you'll need to schedule a separate appointment with a contractor. The same goes for other parts of the house, such as the roof. A home inspector can tell you the roof won't collapse tomorrow, but they're not going to perform a close-up inspection to confirm when the roof will need to be replaced in the future.
One big item you get from a home inspection is a detailed report. This document should be maintained in your records for the house. If there are any disputes over how the property was represented during the sale process, you'll want to be able to refer back to the reports. Likewise, the reports can be provided to an attorney if there's litigation. In general, though, the goal of doing an inspection is to avoid getting into such a situation.
Finding a Home Inspector
There are two major professional organizations that dominate the industry. These are the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), and their websites are good starting points for searching for professionals.
Home inspection costs will vary based on the size of the building. Smaller houses will cost about $300, but bigger ones may be closer to $500. Specialized testing also costs more.