August 7th, 2012 3:54 PM by Eileen Denhard
Home inspections have become an essential part of the process of transferring ownership of a home. A home inspector is hired to conduct a visual inspection of the home that will provide the potential buyer with an understanding of the structural condition of the property and its systems.
A typical home inspection takes 2-4 hours. A good inspector will give the client an overview of the inspection and invite the client to accompany him. Costs range from $150-300 for a typical home but they could go higher depending on the type of structure and the age of the home.
The following items are usually covered in a general inspection:
Many inspection companies offer additional services that can be added if needed: such as pools, spas, docks, sea walls, lawn sprinkler systems, barns and other outdoor structures. These services may have an additional fee. The inspection company may also offer environmental services such as water, lead and radon testing.
The day of the inspection the inspector will perform a site evaluation. The inspector should take the potential buyer on a tour to point out potential problems. A thorough inspection can find problems related to unsafe wiring, water entry, roof leaks, mold and mildew, safety hazards, wet basements, foundation issues, and much more.
Upon completion of the inspection, the inspector will give the client a written report of his findings. This report should contain three basic areas:
An overview of the Home--This is a detailed picture of the house on the day of the inspection, itemizing the major components of the house and the condition they are in.
Maintenance List -- This is a list of items in need of normal maintenance.
Major Repair Items -- This is any defect with the potential to present a significant expense to the buyer in the near future.
Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.