Are Home Inspections Worth It?

Melissa Aguilar

Melissa Aguilar

Home inspection form with clipboard and pen.
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It’s no surprise that buying a home can get very expensive quite quickly. You don’t just have to worry about a down payment or closing costs, but also all those hidden costs of buying a home. One of those costs that first-time home buyers might choose to forgo is a home inspection. We’ll take you through what home inspections are, and if they’re worth the money.

What is a home inspection?

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a home inspection is an examination of a property from the roof to foundation. They will look at other things like the electrical system, any chimneys or the HVAC systems.

You should schedule a home inspection as soon as the seller accepts your bid on the home. The process of finding and planning an inspection could take up to ten days, so try to do it as quickly as possible.

The inspection process itself should take between two and four hours and you usually will get the results in a few days. As a homebuyer, you don’t have to be there during the inspection. But being present can help you get a better understanding of the evaluation and allow you to ask questions.

How much do home inspections cost?

Home inspection costs vary depending on the size and location of the property. Of course, larger metropolitan areas will cost more than rural ones. Generally, the rates range from $200 to $400. You may choose to add on a special inspection.

A general inspector may recommend that you get a special inspection if they are unable to assess certain areas of the property. Special inspections look at things like termites and pests, mold or radon testing.

How do you find a good home inspector?

The home inspection price also depends on the company performing the inspection. Try to find someone who has the proper experience and credentials for the type of home you’re buying. If the property you have your eye on has a pool, make sure you can find someone who can accommodate that.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a list of questions you can ask an inspector before hiring them.

So are home inspections worth it?

While you certainly aren’t required to get a home inspection, it’s probably a good idea. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. So being as informed as you can be before committing to a new home is in your best interest.

Knowing ahead of time that a particular house has a problem can save you thousands down the road. You may be able to negotiate a lower selling price or avoid a home altogether if the renovation costs will be out of your budget.

Home inspections can also reveal safety issues, such as a deck that is not structurally sound or a mold problem. If you move into a house with big problems, you’ll just end up in the home buying process all over again!

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