What To Expect From A Home Inspector

Whether it’s your primary residence or an investment property, a home inspection is an important consideration when buying a home. Below the surface of the paint and shiny exterior could lie unseen risk that can be expensive to repair.

A good inspector will look at everything from the foundation to the roof and try to determine what they can about the condition of the property. They’ll investigate for water damage and mold, foundation issues, incorrect past repairs, and evidence of infestations of rodents, termites and other pests. Inside the house, they’ll look at the condition of the doors, windows, walls, and flooring. They’ll check the cabinets, the drawers, the plumbing and all the electrical outlets. They’ll test the HVAC and make sure it’s working correctly. They’ll crawl into the attic and look for issues there, and they’ll usually walk up on the roof to check out the shingles and the chimney. They’ll look at gutters, downspouts, and any landscaping issues to make sure water flows away from the foundation when it rains.

You will have the option to be there for the inspection and it’s a good idea. By being there, you will be able to get a better idea of exactly what concerns you might have about the property so you can make the best decision on what you want to do with any issues the inspector notices.

Be prepared that the report the inspector provides will be scary! This is particularly true with older homes. The inspector’s job is to discover every single possible problem they can about the property, and no property is perfect. Your challenge, after the report comes in, is to decide which issues are important and which aren’t.

While inspections are not cheap, you should think of the inspection as an investment rather than an expense. The inspector will uncover things out about the property that aren’t obvious. If you’re buying a distressed property, an inspection can help you to create a checklist for addressing all the issues to make the property right. On a typical single-family home, the cost of an inspection will be between $350 and $500.

Speed is critical, because you’ll likely only have up to ten days to get the inspection done, review the results and confirm that you want to follow through with the purchase. The inspector may take a couple of days to get their final report back into your hands, and you may need a day or two to think about what to do, so the moment you get the property under contract, the clock is ticking! It’s best to try to get an inspector on the property within a few days of offer acceptance.

The easiest way to find a home inspector is by asking your real estate agent who they like to work with. I’ve worked with several inspectors that I can recommend. Call me at 443-745-4806.

Ruth Lyons
Ruth Lyons
REALTOR®
5850 Waterloo Road Suite 140 Columbia MD 21045