Why You Need a Home Inspection – Getting Ready for
Home Repair fix-it tips and tricks
It’s not just potential homebuyers who can benefit from having their
house inspected by a qualified professional home inspector. A home
inspection can identify the condition of the physical structure and systems
of your home, letting you know about problems that might be safety
issues and about where and when potential repairs might be necessary.
Think of it as a checkup for your house’s health—and an excellent
way to start learning about your house.
As the home inspector progresses through the house (which typically
takes two to three hours), you’ll have a chance to see what he or she is
looking at, become familiar with signs of potential problems, and ask
questions. Many inspectors are happy to provide tips on maintenance
during the process and in their written reports. You can use those reports
to plan preventive maintenance, find problems before they find you,
determine the extent of a problem that you already know about and
choose ways to solve it, and help you guide future renovations.
It might be tempting to think that since you live in the house, you
know it best. But a good home inspector arrives at your house armed
with years of experience and technical knowledge. The inspector
understands how the house was put together and what’s likely to go
wrong, so a home inspection is a sound investment in your home’s future.
The cost of a home inspection varies depending on the size of
your house, its age and construction, and any specialized testing
that you need—but expect to pay between $300 and $500 for an
average home’s inspection.
To find a qualified home inspector, ask for recommendations from
friends, business colleagues, or real estate agents. You can also check
local telephone directories under such headings as “Home Inspection
Services.” While some areas of the country do license home inspectors,
many don’t. Look for one who belongs to a professional group such as
the American Society of Home Inspectors—membership indicates that the
inspector follows a code of practice and ethics.
Ask about the inspector’s background. How much experience does
he or she have in residential home inspection, and what kind of
education or training does he or she have in construction, architecture,
or building science? Does the inspector carry valid errors and omissions
insurance? Does the inspector encourage your participation in the home
inspection and provide you with a written report?