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Posted 06/03/2017


Home Inspection: What Does A Home Inspector Do?

home inspection

Hire A Home Inspector

You found the right house. You put in your offer, and it was accepted. Congratulations. But now, it’s time to hire a home inspector to go over every inch it – inside and out – to make sure everything you see and don’t see won’t develop major problems once it’s your house.

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Protect Yourself And Your Investment

A home inspector can protect you and your money by showing you where things are past their prime, or if something is in great shape. The inspection isn’t for the lender, the real estate agent or the seller. I

t’s for you – the buyer. So, finding the right one is just as important as finding the right house.

“Remember that you are making a very big buying decision, and it’s not just about how things are working right now, but how you maintain the home and what the home will need from you once you move in,” says Mary Anne Tonini, owner and certified home inspector at Home Inspection of Kentuckiana.

She is among many inspectors across the country certified through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which has continuing education for inspectors and a standard of practice and code of ethics.

How Do You Find A Good Home Inspector?

Tonini says that the ASHI search tool is a great place to start to find a list of inspectors in your state or area that belong to the nonprofit professional organization. Also, you can ask friends or business acquaintances to recommend a home inspector they have used that did a good job.

Look at Yelp and Home Advisor reviews. People can complain very easily, Tonini says. But really pay attention to what they are saying.

“If they say, ‘this person doesn’t like his job and didn’t show me anything,’ that’s bad,” she says.

Also, your real estate agent and lenders might have a list of inspectors with good reputations who they have worked with in the past. But be aware that some agents might not suggest the most thorough inspectors, she says.

“Some Realtors will never suggest the best inspectors around because something those inspectors find might stop the deal,” Tonini adds.

What Does A Home Inspection Cost?

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies by area just like the price of housing, according to ASHI. Also, the inspection fee may vary depending on the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing.

The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the value of the home being inspected, Tonini says.

Home Advisor says it costs an average about $315 to hire a home inspector. But condos and homes under 1,000 square feet can cost as little as $200.

Larger homes over 2,000 square feet will run $400 or more. Tests for radon, termites, mold, lead and asbestos along with a sewer scope test will add to that cost, but typically those tests will cost less if you purchase them with a home inspection.

Just make sure your inspector has specialized certification to do any of these extra tests you require.

What Does A Home Inspection Cover?

Tonini says that crawl spaces are kind of nasty, but it’s one of those places she needs to go during an inspector. She also has to walk on roofs, maneuver around people’s furniture and dogs, and climb into tight attic spaces.

“The inspection will include a comprehensive overview of all the major mechanical and structural systems of the home,” she says.

Those kind of items include plumbing, foundation, roof, attic, fireplaces, air conditioner and furnace, attic and appliances, along with a general look at the interior and exterior of the home.

Inspectors do their job without peeling up carpet, drilling holes in walls, prying up roofing or damaging anything in the house. If more invasive investigations are needed, they cannot be completed without written consent from the homeowner.

How Long Does A Home Inspection Take?

The average home takes about 3-4 hours to cover all the spots, Tonini says. If your house is smaller, then less time, and if it’s a mansion, it can take a lot longer.

Most inspectors want the potential buyers to be with them during the inspection to explain the good, the bad and the ugly of the house they are potentially buying. Tonini accommodates their schedules by even doing inspections on the weekends, to make sure her clients are with her during the inspection.

“If you don’t show up and read my report on paper, that’s stressful. It’s like if you spent $400 for a class, and then just got somebody’s notes. That’s not the same as taking the class,” she says.

What Do You Get With The Home Inspection?

Tonini hands her clients a hand-written report when the inspection is done. She later sends an electronic copy of the entire inspection along with photos. But by tagging along with your inspector, you can get the highlights of the report by just understanding all the systems.

“For instance, I teach them where the water valve shut off is. In ten year, if they are still in the house, and they need to shut the water off because a pipe burst in the basement, they will remember exactly how to do it and where it is,” she says. “You can’t get that in a report.”

What Don’t Inspectors Do?

Inspectors should be checking everything that is visible. But Tonini adds that they don’t inspect swimming pools or security systems.

Also, inspectors are not engineers, plumbers, electricians or contractors. They can’t guarantee anything.

Inspectors are trained eyes that aremort hired to report any type of possible problems or potential risks that lurk in the home. They can also talk about how good a shape something is or how long it might last.

Spending a few hundred dollars to have someone check out a place you might be spending hundreds of thousands of collars makes sense and cents.

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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