Home Inspections

What Do Home Inspectors Look For During Home Inspections

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

In this guide, Ronda Buts, a dually licensed realtor and loan officer at Gustan Cho Associates and the Editor in Chief of One Solution Real Estate, will cover the importance of home inspections when buying a home. A professional home inspection is essential if you or someone you know is planning to purchase a new home. The assessment is designed to uncover any potential issues with the property that may impact its value or safety. Most realtors and loan officers agree home inspections are a must even though lenders do not require it, advises Coker Phillips, a home inspector and associate contributing editor for GCA Mortgage Group, Inc.

Lenders do not require home inspections. It is up to the home buyer whether or not to do a home inspection on a home they are purchasing. Home inspections normally cost around $300 to $500, depending on the county and state.

Buyers can check prices on home inspections. Since a home will probably be a person’s greatest investment, it is highly recommended buyers spend the money to do a home inspection. Home inspectors are professionals who can detect defects in the home. This article will discuss and cover Home Inspections And Its Importance For Home Purchases. In the following paragraphs, we will cover what you can expect during a standard home inspection.

What Are Home Inspections?

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When you schedule a home inspection, the inspector will typically arrive at your home at the agreed-upon time. They will begin by asking you questions about the property, such as its age, how long you’ve owned it, and any past issues you may have experienced. From there, they will thoroughly examine the home, including the exterior, interior, and mechanical systems.

A professional home inspection is an essential step in the home-buying process. It can help you uncover hidden issues with the property, provide peace of mind, help you plan for future repairs and maintenance, and give you negotiating power. Investing in a home inspection ensures that you are making a good decision on how to move forward.

Where Can You Find a Home Inspector?

Finding a reputable inspector is one of the first steps in getting a professional home inspection. You can start the process by asking for recommendations from friends and family or searching online for home inspection services in your area. Review reviews and check credentials, such as certifications from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Even though you are not required to hire a home inspector, most real estate industry professionals highly recommend you hire a certified professional home inspector, advises Dustin Dumestre, a senior loan officer at Gustan Cho Associates:

Before hiring a home inspector, it is essential to check their credentials. Look for an inspector licensed, insured, and certified by a reputable organization. A licensed inspector has met the state’s requirements to practice in the field, while an insured inspector protects you from any damages that may occur during the inspection.

Certification from a reputable organization, such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), shows that the inspector has undergone rigorous training and follows a strict code of ethics. This ensures that the inspector has the knowledge and expertise to thoroughly inspect the property and provide a detailed report on its condition.

Can a Realtor Find Me a Home Inspector?

Many Realtors have a network of home inspectors that they can recommend to you. However, doing your research before choosing an inspector is important. Look for an inspector with a good reputation and solid credentials. You can ask for referrals from friends, work associates, and family or search online for reviews and customer feedback.

How Much Do Home Inspections Cost?

The home inspection cost can depend on several factors, such as the property’s size, age, and location. The average cost of a home inspection ranges from $300 to $500, but it can go up to $1,000 for larger homes or those in high-cost areas. It’s important to note that the cost of a home inspection is a small investment compared to the potential issues that may arise if a home is not thoroughly inspected.

What Happens During a Home Inspection?

During a home inspection, the inspector will thoroughly examine the interior and exterior of your home. They will check for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or leaks, and inspect the major systems in your home, including the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. The inspector will also check the roof, walls, and foundation for any signs of deterioration or damage. Many issues in the home are not detectable by the naked eye. This holds especially when it comes to high-ticket repair items such as the following:

  • foundation issues
  • HVAC issues
  • mold
  • termite
  • plumbing
  • electrical
  • insulation
  • other potential defects with the subject property

Just because a home inspector may come up with a bad report on certain issues, such as reporting that the roof has only a three-year life span left, does not mean that the home buyer should cancel the real estate purchase contract.

How Long Do Home Inspections Take?

The length of a home inspection will depend on the size and complexity of your home. A home inspection typically takes 2 to 4 hours, but larger or more complex homes may take longer. It’s a good idea to plan to be at the house during the inspection to ask any questions you may have.

What Do Home Inspections Cover?

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A reputable inspector should carefully examine the home’s interior and exterior, including the attic, basement, or crawl space. Each home is different. So the home inspection will vary depending on the property type.

Inspectors will generally examine the home’s foundation, roof, attic, basement, crawl space, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, heating systems, home insulation, and structural components. Most importantly, the home’s potential hazards include fire hazards with the electrical and HVAC systems and leaks in the plumbing system.

An inspector is a general inspector and not a specialist. If he suspects issues with a particular system, such as the well and septic, he may note on his report that further examination will be required. Buyers may need to hire a well and septic specialist where further due diligence is required.

What Does the Inspector Discover on Home Inspections

After a home inspector has thoroughly inspected the subject property, the inspector will prepare a home inspection report. The report details his inspection and findings in writing with pictures. After the inspection, the inspector will provide a detailed report outlining any issues. Alex Carlucci, a senior loan officer for Gustan Cho Associates, explains the data homebuyers will find on the home inspection report:

The home inspector will offer recommendations for repairs or upgrades that may be necessary to ensure the safety and value of the property. The home inspection report can be used to negotiate with the seller and ensure that any necessary repairs are made before you close on the home.

The inspection report is sent to the buyer and the real estate agent. Lenders do not get a copy of the home inspection report since the inspection is not mandatory. There are times when lenders require a home inspection. That is in the case where the appraiser notes defects in the property. That is when a lender may require a home inspection.

Issues Home Inspectors Can Reveal

As mentioned in this guide, home inspection has many benefits for homebuyers. A professional home inspection is one of the most important steps in the home-buying process. It is a comprehensive examination of the property that can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase the home. A home inspection report can help you identify any potential problems with the property, allowing you to negotiate with the seller or walk away from the deal if necessary. Ethel Matthews, a dually licensed realtor and loan officer at Gustan Cho Associates, explains her thoughts on the benefits of home inspections:

One of the most significant benefits of a home inspection is that it can uncover hidden issues with the property. A trained and experienced home inspector can identify problems that may not be visible to an untrained eye. These issues can include structural problems, electrical and plumbing issues, and problems with the roof or foundation. By identifying these problems early on, you can avoid costly repairs.

Another benefit of a home inspection is that it can provide peace of mind. Knowing that a professional thoroughly examined your potential new home can alleviate any concerns about the property. You can rest easy knowing that you have made an informed decision about one of the biggest purchases of your life.

Exterior Inspection

The inspector will examine the property’s exterior, including the roof, gutters, siding, and foundation. They will look for signs of water damage, cracks, or other issues affecting the home’s structural integrity. They will also check for proper drainage and ventilation to protect the home from moisture damage.

Interior Inspection

Next, the inspector will move inside the home, examining each room for any issues. This will include looking for evidence of water damage, mold, or pests and checking the electrical and plumbing systems. They will also check the HVAC system and other major appliances to ensure they function correctly.

Attic and Crawlspace Inspection

The inspector will also check the attic and crawlspace to ensure they are adequately ventilated and free of potential hazards. This may include checking for evidence of pests or insulation issues that could cause energy loss and impact the home’s efficiency.

Renegotiating Price After Home Inspections

A home inspection can provide you with negotiating power. If the inspection report uncovers any significant problems with the property, you can use this information to negotiate with the seller. You may be able to get the seller to lower the price of the home or make repairs before closing. Homebuyers may need to save funds for repairs if the home has issues. Coker Phillips advises the following:

Home inspections may be a way of getting out of the real estate purchase contract if the repairs needed may be too large and intense. An inspection report may mean buyers can renegotiate the price due to certain problems with the home. It can also alert buyers to what improvements should be on the radar.

For example, a roof may not be a big issue where if the inspector recommends a new roof needs to be installed in three to five years. However, if the inspector notes that the subject property has major foundation problems and cracked foundation walls, this can mean major problems. Getting out of the real estate purchase contract may be best, and looking for another home.

Contingencies on Home Inspections 

Buyers will put contingencies when writing up an offer. Contingencies on mortgage contingencies and home inspections are very common. Most home contingencies on inspections are for seven days from the accepted offer date. Homebuyers normally order home inspections before ordering the appraisal.

The purpose of the home inspection contingency is so that even if the home has issues that the homebuyer does not want to deal with, they can cancel the real estate purchase contract or try to renegotiate the purchase price.  Unfortunately, fees on home inspections will be spent, and the buyer will be out of pocket if they decide not to pursue the real estate purchase transaction.

The few hundred dollars is worth its weight in gold if the home inspector may find major flaws such as foundation damage or mold behind the drywall. A home inspection can also help you plan for future maintenance and repairs. The inspection report will provide you with a comprehensive list of any problems with the property, as well as recommendations for repairs and maintenance. This information can help you budget necessary repairs and plan for future property maintenance.

What Are The Main Purpose For Home Inspections

If you should decide to buy, before you begin looking for a home and during the process, we have vast experience working with buyers to get them ready to purchase their dream home. We can take you through the entire financing process for your home loan. We also can connect you to title companies/attorneys and real estate agents in your area that can help as needed. A frequently asked question about home inspections is what are the  main purpose for home inspections, says John Strange, a senior loan officer at GCA Mortgage Group:

The main purpose of home inspections is to provide homebuyers with the data on the condition of the subject property they are buying. A home purchase is most people’s largest investment. Most homebuyers will not have tens of thousands of dollars to repair their home after they purchase it.

Call or text Ronda Butts at Gustan Cho Associates at 407-460-7999 or email at ronda@gustancho.com for more information on home inspections or further assistance. Ronda is an experienced, dually licensed real estate agent and mortgage originator. Ronda has successfully guided many homeowners through obtaining a home on both the lending and real estate side. She does not represent buyers or sellers but offers free consultation in 48 states at Gustan Cho Associates by connecting homeowners, buyers, and sellers to the needed source. If you need questions on any mortgage or real estate-related topics, join GCA Mortgage FORUM, our online community message board.

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