Buying a new home is a frightening yet exciting experience. Although it’s a positive step in building security it can also be very stressful as well as time-consuming. There are a lot of important considerations to make before you sign the papers and agree to take on financial responsibility for purchasing a home. There are a lot of unexpected situations that can arise with the structure and condition of the home that may not be evident with a few walk-throughs of the property. This is why it is essential to hire a home inspector prior to making a final commitment to buying a home.
What can happen if you skip this step?
As mentioned earlier, some unpleasant surprises can arise after you take possession of the home. Structural problems that will just get worse with time, issues with the electrical and wiring, plumbing problems, and many more problems can be lurking beneath the surface of an otherwise pristine looking home. These issues can be expensive to remedy. That’s why it’s important to have a thorough home inspection to check the integrity of the inner parts of the house before you take on any of the potentially costly problems that may remain hidden.
What a home inspector will do for you
There are a few different types of home inspection that you can request. Some are basic and others are more extensive. It’s your responsibility to consult with the home inspector to get a detailed list of the services that he or she is willing to provide for you. At a minimum, the inspection should include a report that lists all problem areas discovered with photographs and the inspections should cover any appliances included with the home, the plumbing, the foundation, the roof, the attic, the electrical system, the HVAC system, the fireplaces, and the general interior and exterior to assess for any structural damage such as water damage, mold, dry rot or other issues.
More extensive inspections
The more extensive inspections can cost a little more than a basic one because they often require special certifications. It’s a good idea to go with a home inspector that covers these bases as well. The extended inspections check the home for the presence of termites, asbestos, and radon which are all serious threats which may change your mind about following through with the final purchase of the home. For these more extensive inspections, you will need to get the approval of the homeowner before you proceed. An honest seller with nothing to hide should have no objection to this. If they do, it’s probably not a home you should consider purchasing.
The average cost of home inspection services
The cost of a home inspection can be as little as $200 for a basic inspection or it could run as high as several hundred, but it could save you several thousand in repair costs in the long run. Although there is no set standard fee, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare prices. Here is a breakdown of the average fees for special services.
The cost is between $200 to $400 depending on the size of the home being inspected. If you have the home radon tested, the charges average an extra $100-$200. Asbestos inspections are mostly recommended for older homes as the newer ones are not at risk for this contamination. The cost can range between $200 to $400 for inspection but if you buy a home needing asbestos removal the costs can be anywhere from $400 to $30,000 depending on the scope of the removal task. Testing for six common mold types is also recommended. Some of them are extremely harmful and they can result in the condemnation of a house with quarantine until removal is completed. Testing for these molds runs about $820 but the cost for professional removal is $2,200.
Testing for the presence of lead is also recommended and routinely done in homes older than 1978 as a building date. The cost for this inspection is around $300, but when you compare it to the price of lead removal between $950 and $2,300, it’s a good idea to have it done if the lead is suspected. Finally, checking the plumbing with a sewer scope for homes that are over 20 years old is good for ensuring that pipes are not blocked by tree roots. The cost runs from $85 to $300, but replacing the sewer line costs several thousand.