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Home Buyer – Home Inspections

Posted by Chris on December 19, 2009
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Value Your Homes

Types of Home Inspections

A pre-sale home inspection by an independent, licensed inspector is the most important step in the home buying process. It’s also a step many people are tempted to skip, because inspections aren’t usually required by law, and at $250 to $500, they aren’t exactly cheap. Don’t skimp however—a $500 investment at this stage of the game can save you from a potentially disastrous purchase, or give you ammunition to renegotiate a price should the inspector find issues. Some common home inspection types include:

  • General: This is the standard pre-sale inspection that covers all aspects of the home. A general inspection usually takes two to three hours, and though buyers aren’t usually present for the entire time, meeting the inspector at the end of the visit for a review is quite common. General inspectors may also recommend specialized inspectors if specific problems are found.
  • Foundation: This can be instrumental in determining any major foundation issues, including damage or movement.
  • Pest: Termites, dry rot, and other biological issues can sometimes be hard to quantify. This inspection is recommended for older homes or houses in a rural location.
  • Electrical: While a general inspection usually identifies whether or not a home’s electrical system is up to code, an electrical inspector can identify trouble spots or specific areas of concern.
  • Roof: With most roofing jobs costing upwards of $5000, knowing the condition of the roof can help you plan for future repair costs, or negotiate a lower sale price if the roof is in rough shape.
  • Environmental: A mold-infested house can appear normal, but can be an enormous health hazard. The presence of gases such as carbon monoxide, methane or radon can also be a potential deal breaker.
  • Soil: Most prevalent for homes on hillsides or in mountainous terrain, having an inspection on the soil can help determine the fluidity of the ground. It can also spot soil contamination.

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