Okay, you made one of the most important decisions in your life: you’re buying a home! You found your ideal home. It’s in your desired neighborhood, close to everything you love, you love its design and feel, and you’re ready to finalize the deal. Once you have an accepted offer you need to hire a home inspector.
But, whoa … wait a minute! Buying a home isn’t like buying a toaster. If you discover something’s wrong with your new home, you can’t return it for a refund or an even exchange. You’re stuck with your buying decision. Purchasing a home is an important investment and should be treated as such. Therefore, before finalizing anything, your “ideal” home needs an inspection to protect you from throwing your hard-earned money into a money pit.
A home inspection is a professional visual examination of the home’s roof, plumbing, heating and cooling system, electrical systems, and foundation.
There are really two types of home of inspections. There is a general home inspection and a specialized inspection. Most general inspections cost between $350 and $600 in the Bloomington Normal area. The cost of the specialized inspection varies from type to type. If the inspector recommends a specialized inspection, take that advice because buying a home is the single most important investment you’ll make and you want extra assurance that you’re making a wise investment.
By having your prospective new home inspected, you can:
- Negotiate with the home seller and get the home sale-ready at no cost to you
- Prevent your insurance rates from rising
- Opt-out of the purchase before you make a costly mistake
- Save money in the short and long run
How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?
A home inspection helps to find potential expenses beyond the sales price, which puts homebuyers in a position for negotiation. If there are any issues discovered during the home inspection, buyers can request that the sellers repair them before closing. Some of the problems, if not repaired may not qualify for the loan which you are approved for.
Perhaps even more importantly, a home inspection buys you peace of mind. Your first days and months in a new home will set the tone for your life there, and you don’t want to taint that time with worries about hidden problems and potential money pits.
Some of the items that a home inspector will look at are the following.
Roof – Roofing problems are one of the most common issues found by home inspections. Roof repair can be a large expense. When looking at homes keep this in mind.
Plumbing – Don’t underestimate the plumbing. Small leaks can cause damage that can be costly. Your home inspector will look for visible problems with the plumbing such as leaky faucets, water stains around sinks and the shower, and noisy pipes. Stains on walls, ceilings, and warped floors show plumbing problems.
Heating and Cooling – Ensuring the home’s heating and cooling system is working properly is very important. Your home inspector will make you aware of any problems with the existing system and let know you whether the system is past its prime and needs replacing. If the inspector finds issues they may suggest you get a heating and cooling licensed contract to get a more detailed inspection.
Electrical Systems – When thinking of the electrical system, no problem is better than even a small problem. Electrical problems might seem small, but they can blossom into thousand-dollar catastrophes. Make sure your home inspector examines the electric meter, wires, circuit breaker, switches, and the GCFI outlets and electrical outlets.
Foundation – If your home inspector sees signs of foundation issues such as cracks in walls, sticking windows, and sagging floor those items would need further evaluation. The foundation is so important that if the general inspection report shows foundation problems, lenders will not lend money on the home until those issues are solved.
As you can see, a small investment of a few hundred dollars for a general home inspection can save you tons of money and future headaches. To save even more money, you might consider investing in a specialized home inspection as well. A specialized inspection gets down to the nitty-gritty of all the trouble spots the general home inspection might have located.
How Much Money Can a Specialized Inspection Save You?
A general home inspection can trigger a need for a specialized inspection because the general home inspector spotted something off about the roof, sewer system, the heating and cooling system, and the foundation. In our area a termite inspection is many times required by the lender and a good idea if you are not getting a mortgage. Most home buyers also have a Radon test done to ensure air quality.
Roof – Roof specialists examine the chimney and the flashing surrounding it. They also look at the level of wear and tear of the roof. They can tell you how long the roof will last before a new one is needed. They’ll inspect the downspouts and gutters.
Sewer System – Making sure your sewer system has no problems should happen before the closing because what might look like a small problem can turn into a large problem in the future. If any issues pop up, you can negotiate with the seller about needed repairs or replacements before closing. Cost of inspection will vary.
Heating and Cooling System – A HVAC specialist will check the ducts for blockage and for consistent maintenance of the unit. The repairs needed might be small or they might be big, but this small investment will save you headaches and lots of money down the road.
Foundation – A foundation specialist will pinpoint the exact problem with the foundation. The specialist will look at the grade or slope of the home.
Pest Inspection – Termites eat a home’s wood structure from inside out and can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. Other pests can turn your dream home into a nightmare.
Radon Test – Radon is a naturally occurring invisible odorless gas that is the second-leading cause of cancer. A radon test is a good test to have done as a good habit. The cost of radon test is low and its cost varies from state to state.
Steps You Can Take to Save Money Using a Home Inspection
To help yourself save with a home inspection, you will need to:
Attend the inspection – Meet the inspector once he has completed the home inspection. The inspector will point out items that he found that needs repaired and also point out water shut off, how to change out the furnace filter etc. It is important because it’s an opportunity for you to ask questions.
Check utilities – Checking utilities let’s know the energy efficiency of your potential home.
Hire a Qualified Home Inspector – While the decision of who you work with is always yours, we can educate you so that you make a wise home buying decision.