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Finding and Hiring a Home Inspector:

Typically, there are three types of people who may need to hire a home inspection company. Most likely, you will fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Home Buyer

  • Home Seller

  • Existing home Owner

If you are a home buyer, you will typically want the home you are purchasing inspected within 1 to 2 weeks after the contract is accepted. Therefore, it is important to shop early and choose a home inspector you will work with before placing an offer on a home. 

If you are selling a home, you will typically want the home you are selling inspected prior to putting your home up for sale. A home inspection report by a seller shows your are providing full disclosure to potential buyers and gives you peace of mind that between the offer acceptance and closing that unknown problems with the home are found. 

If you are an existing home owner, you either purchased your home new or used. If you purchased a new home and are still under warranty there is no better time to have your home inspected then about three or four weeks before your warranty expires. Over the years a periodic inspection is a great way to protect your investment. Catching problems early, whether it be structure, leaks, plumbing, heating, or mold can save you a great deal of money before they progressively get worse. 

Choosing a Home Inspector:
When choosing a home inspection company or home inspector use common sense. You probably want to choose one that is a home inspection specialist and does not offer contractor services, etc. Avoid someone who does home inspections on the side and will do it for half the price of the competition. Find out beforehand how the home inspection report will be delivered, verbally, written, person to person, mailed or via electronic means. Some states require home inspectors obtain a license, you can check our state by state home inspector licensing regulations and ask your inspection company if they are licensed if required. Additional there are different companies that provide certification to home inspectors and home inspection companies that uphold high standards. Check to see the affiliations or certifications of the home inspector you are deciding on.

Here are a few frequently asked questions:

How much does a home inspection cost?
Depending on different variables such as the location, size of home, and depth of the inspection, a rough average of between $250-$500 is the typical going rate in the United States for a complete home inspection. Rates vary depending of course on supply and demand in different markets.

How long will the home inspection last?
Depending on the size of the home a home inspection normally runs between 1 1/2 to 3 hours. 

Do I need to be present during the home inspection?
It is a very good idea to be there while the home inspected. Be sure to schedule the inspection during daylight hours. Do not be afraid to ask questions, as you may have questions that a checklist or report can not answer. Being present will help educate you and give you a better idea of any problems providing you with a better level of confidence.

Problems - What next?
Some lenders now require a house gets a clean bill of health before closing so it is important to act quickly. If there are problems found, the first thing to do is to get an idea of the costs associated with repairing them. If you have time you can usually get a free estimate from a contractor. What happens next depends on the real estate market and the problems involved. The seller may offer to fix them, the buyer may negotiate, or the buyer and seller come to another mutual agreement. 

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