How Does a Home Inspection Work?
Assuming that you put a home inspection as a condition of your offer. Once the offer is accepted by the seller you should take the initiative to contact a licensed home inspector immediately to arrange an inspection based on the seller’s availability.
Once you have settled on a inspector it should take him three to four hours depending on the size of the home to perform a visual and thermal scan of the home’s systems and structure with the following areas of focus:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Decking and exterior buildings
- Areas that have heavy wear or visible damages
- Thermal scan to look for areas that have weaknesses in insulation
If its your first home you should always have the home inspection done because hidden defects and surprises could end up costing you thousands in repairs and the possibility of losing your home all together if you cannot afford to make these repairs. Home guarantees are very limited and are subject to State by state laws governing the loan.
Can I Purchase a Home Warranty to Protect Myself?
Home warranty programs can cover a lot of the mechanical issues that arise in your home with a yearly affordable plan that cover appliances, air conditioning and heating equipment.
You can search in your local area for specific companies. Just keep in mind that many manufacturers have good warranties and in some cases your credit card can include them.These fees can be a burden especially to first time home buyers with low down payments.
Structural warranties require a different paid insurance plan if you want to go down that route.
You are starting to see the main benefit of making a home inspection for a few hundred dollars a key component to the conditional sale. If you find major issues you can have a clause that says if the home inspector has deemed the repairs exceed a specific amount or are major that you can walk away from the offer.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Home Inspection?
For a typical suburban home, plan to spend $300-$500 depending on the size of the home. Think of it as an investment in prevention.