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Top 5 Home Inspection Questions and Concerns

By JDFerris | Home Inspection

Oct 10

Top 5 home inspection questions

There is a little saying I love that goes; it is impossible to know what you do not know. Simple, yea? So if it is impossible to know what you do not know, what might the solution be? That’s right, asking. FIn the following, I will present you with the top five home inspection questions that people have when preparing for their inspection.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

A home inspection in Washington State in 2019 should cost you roughly between $400 and $600. Unless the price of the inspection decreased thanks to a discount, you as a customer should be wary of whether or not you are getting the quality of service you paid for once the price begins dropping below $400 for a single-family residential home inspection.

Apartments, condos, and little houses under 1,000 sq ft might have an inspection price as low as $250 (or thereabouts). Added screening services such as mold testing, radon testing, water quality screening, and also non-attached structure assessments all add to the complete expense of a comprehensive home inspection. Make sure to purchase these additional services together with a full, thorough home examination, if you can, as this will undoubtedly save you money.

Acquiring these services as attachments, rather than standalone solutions when you know you need them will save you a great deal of money! The rate of this being typically one half to one-quarter of the total expense of acquiring the service when you purchase as an add-on solution to a residential home inspection.

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

The total length of time a home inspection takes is going to depend on several factors. How prepared is your inspector for the inspection? How well are the clients who are buying the home prepared for the inspection? Either an unprepared inspector or client can halt the progress of a home inspection and cause problems for everyone involved.

The single most significant factor in determining how long a home inspection will take to complete is the size or square footage of the assessed property. The larger the home, the longer the inspection process will take. It will also take longer to inspect older homes that tend to have more issues, and more pressing issues like having the home wired with knob and tube!

The amount of time the assessment takes will also depend largely on your inspector. As there is no singularly correct way to inspect a home, many inspectors will go about it in different ways or perform tasks in different orders. Also, the amount of communication your inspector has with the client during the inspection can add or detract time from it as well. Personally, I have had several inspections that would have been done in under 3 hours if the conversation wasn’t so good! One of the things I love getting to do as a home inspector is to meet great people and have wonderful conversations when and where applicable. This has caused some inspections to run as long as five or six hours when they would have been three or four hours otherwise!

All in all, on average, a single-family residential home inspection should take about three hours to complete the physical examination of the property. Depending on your inspector, the home inspection report might be delivered to you the same day, or within two or three days maximum usually. Sometimes while buying a home, certain things run long and before you know it, the end of your inspection contingency starts fast approaching. If this happens to be the case when you are in the process of buying a house, it is a very good idea to let your inspector know. A rush may need to be put on the report to get it in time.

What to Look for in a Home Inspection?

Typically, when home inspections are involved, that means there is a piece of property being bought or sold. This is not the rule, but more often than not, this is the situation that home inspections occur in the most. Whenever the purchase or sale of real property is involved, more often than not, you will run into at least one party to the transaction with a high emotional investment in it.

When there is a lot at stake, as is typical in real estate transactions, emotions sometimes get the better of people. This can, in many situations, push a client to act outside of their typical behavior. Whether this happens or not, the home inspector you choose must be an excellent communicator. Good communication is of paramount importance in this industry, as the information we need to portray to our clients can at times be confusing, jargon-laden, and/or difficult to understand. Many will require their inspector’s aid in helping them to understand the findings in the inspection report.

Certification and State licensing (where necessary) are two essential qualities that are an absolute must in the home inspector you choose.

Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

This is, at times, quite a hotly debated topic, depending on your position or situation. The short of it is pretty simple, though, and not confusing if you stop for a moment to think. So who pays for the home inspection? The client pays for the home inspection, and who is the client? The client is the party that paid me for the inspection.

Ok, so hold on a second, isn’t that some seriously roundabout reasoning? Yea, it is. And honestly, it doesn’t matter. Anyone can pay for the inspection. I have had full-service real estate agents as clients who pay the inspection fee for their buyers. This, in turn, makes the agent my client, even though the inspection and information are still technically for the home buyer.

Sometimes, the party that is selling the house will pay for the inspection as a concession to the real estate transaction. When this happens to be the case, SPS Inspections always recommends a Move-In Certified Home Inspection. Pre-listing inspections can, in many situations, help a seller receive more cash for the sale of their home.

Does my Home Inspector Need to be Licensed?

I will answer this question in the same way my junior year Biomedical Ethics professor would say; maybe yes, maybe no.

It depends.

Whether or not you are required to hold a license to provide professional home inspection services is something that each state in the U.S. decides for itself. Some states within the U.S. require licensure to legally perform professional inspection services, whereas some states do not. This just means that in the states that do require a home inspection license, you will be unable to provide home inspection services legally.

So yes, licensure is essential, but even more so than that, you need always to make sure your home inspector is a valid and active member of a reputable certifying organization. Personally, I, Jarrett Ferris, am a Certified Professional Inspector and an active member of InterNACHI. Alongside InterNACHI there are also the American Society of Home Inspectors, the National Association of Home Inspectors, and the National Home Inspector Association, just to name a few.

It is not necessary that your inspector be a member of all of them, or even more than one. Membership in a single home inspection organization is plenty good.