Home Inspections: Types and Costs of Necessary Testing

One of the most important things a home buyer can do before putting in an offer is having the property inspected by a certified home inspector. Typically the more complex a house or property is, the more inspections will be needed. To ensure that the report is valid, confirm that the inspector is recognized by an organization like the American Society of Home Inspectors. While there are more than 20 different types of home inspections, it’s important to have at minimum, a general inspection completed. Here, you’ll learn more about six of relevant tests and their approximate costs for peace of mind.

General Home Inspection (Approximately $500): This inspection should include electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation, and structural features. The inspector will then share a report offering suggestions for improvements or repairs that need to be done to bring the property up to code.

Termite/Insect Inspection (Approximately $100): This inspector will look for signs of structural damage caused by wood-eating insects cost and if the structure of the property is built correctly.

Chimney Inspection (Approximately $75): The inspection examines the chimney, including the joints, flue, liner, connectors and interior walls.

Foundation/Boundaries/Lot Size:  (Approximately $100): The foundation of the house will be checked by the inspector to make sure that it is not sliding or if the foundation is faulty.  The boundary and lot size can be checked by the same inspector. The information about the lot size will also be verified.

Water Inspection (Approximately $150): If the home is supplied by a well system, one of the most important inspections is water testing. The water should be tested for many things including water hardness and metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic. The water needs to be tested by a laboratory that is found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website. If the home has a septic tank, it will also need to be tested to ensure the system is working properly.

Radon Test (Approximately $10 to $25): Radon is a naturally occurring, cancer-causing radioactive gas. The home also needs to be checked for mold and lead paint. Both can cause health issues to people living in the house.

Buyers beware of sellers saying they have had their own inspections done on the home and it is not necessary for a second inspection. Do not fall for this! A second opinion can never hurt and problems could be discovered that were overlooked on the first inspection. If possible, try and be at the home for each inspection. If the home does not pass inspection, the buyer can request the seller to make the necessary improvements. If the seller refuses to improve the property, the buyer should negotiate a price reduction. If a solution cannot be made, the buyer should look for another home.

It’s important to take the necessary steps to insure that your investment is in good condition. Typically every kind of inspection costs money, however in the long run, a buyer can end up saving thousands of dollars by getting the proper inspections completed before moving in.

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