About Home Buyer Inspections
A home buyer inspection is oftentimes optional, but it's a powerful tool to ensure that the home you buy is suitable - and more importantly - isn't going to fall apart right after you buy it. Home inspections should be conducted by a professionally trained inspector. Make sure that the inspector you choose has all the certifications and licensing deemed necessary by the state in which you reside.
Home inspectors usually look for any signs that repairs need to be made to the home:
- Cracks in the foundation
- Chipped or peeling paint
- Evidence of flooding or water damage
- Missing sections of shingles or other roof damage
- Overgrowth of surrounding trees and shrubs
- Warped or sagging beams
- Electrical problems such as non-functioning outlets
- Damage to floors
This is merely a brief list of things an inspector looks for. A home inspector with a highly trained eye will be able to quickly spot any potential problems within a home.
Paying for an Inspection
The cost of a quality home buyer inspection varies depending on the square footage of the home and the home's location. While the cost of an inspection is rarely included within the buyer's closing costs, some buyers successfully demand that the seller covers the cost of a home inspection prior to closing.
By selecting your own inspector and paying the fee out of your own pocket, however, you can be sure that you are receiving an unbiased review of the "health" of the home.
Inspection versus Appraisal
An inspection is not an appraisal. It is not the job of the home inspector to estimate the market value of the home. While appraisals are almost always required by lenders and mortgage guarantee organizations, inspections are often optional and paid for by the purchaser.
Just because inspections aren't always required by lenders does not mean that inspections aren't incredibly valuable when it comes to buying a home. Always consider commissioning a thorough home buyer inspection before going to closing on a home.