Home Inspections: Three Things First-Time Buyers Should Know

Posted on: 27 July 2017

Opting to have a home inspected before finalizing the purchase is an important part of the home buying process. While first-time buyers likely understand the importance, they may have many questions about the process, such as how much the process costs and how long it may take. On average, a home inspection today costs about $315.00, running potentially higher for larger homes and lower for smaller ones. In addition to the average cost of having the home inspected by a properly certified home inspector, buyers should understand that the inspection and negotiation process afterward can take several days to complete. In addition to the average cost and time frame to complete, there are some additional details that first-time home buyers should know, such as the following three things.

Home inspections should only be performed by qualified inspectors

Because of the cost, cash-strapped first-time buyers may consider asking a friend or relative with carpentry skills to "inspect" the home they want to purchase. While doing this might save the initial cost of the inspection, it is likely to be a very costly mistake.

If the inspection is performed by someone who is not properly qualified, important condition and repair issues may be missed, causing the buyer to purchase a home that will be expensive to repair.

Even worse is the fact that any issues that this type of inspection notes may not be taken seriously by the seller. This can make negotiating any repairs or concessions much more difficult, simply because the inspector lacked the proper credentials for conducting home inspections.

Home inspections should be attended by the buyers, when possible

Another thing that buyers may not be aware of regarding the home inspection process is the fact that they can, and should, attend the inspection. Doing this will give them a chance to ask the inspector questions and learn many things about how the home was constructed and its current condition. 

Home inspectors do not offer advice on repairs

Lastly, first-time home buyers may want to discuss repair costs and options with the home inspector, but this is not their job. The home inspector's job is to visually inspect the property and make a detailed report of any conditions or repair issues they may find. Buyers will need to discuss these issues with a repair contractor, in order to determine what the best remedy will be and what it will cost. 

First-time buyers who have additional questions about the home inspection process should discuss the matter with their realtor before scheduling the home inspection. 

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