The Home Inspection Process

by Washington Federal Team on June 21, 2011

Whether you are a seasoned homeowner or a first time homebuyer, paying for a home inspection during the buying process is a wise decision. Home inspectors are trained to evaluate the condition of your potential new home and give you an unbiased opinion. Finding problems before you purchase the home may save you future headaches and pay for the inspection many times over. Although the process varies depending on the size and age of the home, there are a few standard elements to the inspection process. Here are the things you should expect  your inspector to examine during the home inspection process:

● Electric wiring, fuses, and outlets
● Plumbing systems
● Foundation and roof
● Pest issues
● Heating and air conditioning systems
● Interior features such as doors, walls, and fireplace

You should also know that your home inspector is not responsible for commenting on aesthetic issues and may not be willing to enter certain hard to reach areas such as roofs or crawlspaces.

Just as it is important to choose the right home, it is also important to choose the right home inspector. Your real estate agent may be able to give you the name or one or two inspectors he or she has worked with in the past. A low quality inspector may overlook necessary repairs or safety hazards, and this could cost you more money and hassle in the future. Here are three questions to ask before hiring your home inspector:

1. What is the cost of this inspection? Knowing the cost up-front will keep you and your home inspector on the same page. The average price of a home inspection is $300 to $500, but older and larger homes tend to take more time to evaluate and therefore come with a higher price tag.
2. How long have you been inspecting residential properties? Your inspector should be experienced in home inspection (not just pest or commercial inspection) and should be willing to provide you with customer references.
3. Will this inspection meet your state’s recognized standards? Your home inspector should base their inspection off your state’s regulations (though not all states regulate inspectors) and follow the code of ethics set up by an accredited group like the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Professional home inspections are an important step in the home buying process. Even those selling their homes can use home inspectors to identify necessary repairs before putting their house on the market. By familiarizing yourself with the home inspection process and hiring an experienced professional, you can ensure that your home inspection will be thorough and informative.

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