Don’t Get Burned – Get a Home Inspection to Save Money on Your Next Purchase
Okay, you made one of the most important decisions in your life: you’re buying a
home! You found your ideal home. It’s in your desired neighborhood, close to everything
you love, you dig its design and feel, and you’re ready to finalize the
But, whoa … wait a minute! Buying a home isn’t like buying a toaster. If you discover
something’s wrong with your new home, you can’t return it for a refund or
an even exchange. You’re stuck with your buying decision. Purchasing a home is
an important investment and should be treated as such. Therefore, before finalizing
anything, your “ideal” home needs an inspection to protect you from throwing
your hard-earned money into a money pit.
A home inspection is a professional visual examination of the home’s roof, plumbing,
heating and cooling system, electrical systems, and foundation.
There are really two types of home of inspections. There is a general home inspection
and a specialized inspection. Most general inspections cost around $400. The cost of the specialized inspection varies from type to type. If the inspector recommends a specialized inspection, take that advice because buying
a home is the single most important investment you’ll make and you want extra
assurance that you’re making a wise investment.
By having your prospective new home inspected, you can:
1.Negotiate with the home seller and get the home sale-ready at no cost to
2. Prevent your insurance rates from rising
3. Opt-out of the purchase before you make a costly mistake
4.Save money in the short and long run
How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?
A home inspection helps to find potential expenses beyond the sales price, which
puts homebuyers in a powerful position for negotiation. If there are any issues discovered
during the home inspection, buyers can stipulate that the sellers either
repair them before closing or help cover the costs in some other way. If the sellers
do not want to front the money to complete the repairs, buyers could negotiate a
drop in the overall sales price of the home!
Perhaps even more importantly, a home inspection buys you peace of mind. Your
first days and months in a new home will set the tone for your life there, and you
don’t want to taint that time with worries about hidden problems and potential
To help you understand how much money a home inspection can save you, here
are some numbers from HomeAdvisor to drive the point home … so to speak.
Roof – Roofing problems are one of the most common issues found by home inspections.
Roof repair can range between $316 and $1046, but to replace a roof
entirely can cost between $4,660 and $8,950.
Plumbing – Don’t underestimate the plumbing. Small leaks can cause damage
that costs between $1,041 and $3,488 to repair. Your home inspector will look for
visible problems with the plumbing such as leaky faucets, water stains around
sinks and the shower, and noisy pipes. Stains on walls, ceilings, and warped floors
show plumbing problems.
Heating and Cooling – Ensuring the home’s heating and cooling system is working
properly is very important. Your home inspector will make you aware of any problems
with the existing system and let know you whether the system is past its
prime and needs replacing. You don’t want to throw down $3,919 to replace an
aged furnace. Nor do you want to spend $5,238 replacing an ill-working air conditioner.
Replacing and repairing a water heater gets pricey too. Wouldn’t you
rather use your savings for a vacation?
Electrical Systems – When thinking of the electrical system, no problem is better
than even a small problem. Electrical problems might seem small, but they can
blossom into thousand-dollar catastrophes. Make sure your home inspector examines
the electric meter, wires, circuit breaker, switches, and the GCFI outlets and
Foundation – If your home inspector sees that the house is sinking, that means
water is seeping into the foundation; cracks in walls, sticking windows, and sagging
floor also indicate foundational problems. The foundation is so important that
if the general inspection report shows foundation problems, lenders will not lend
money on the home until those issues are solved. Foundation repairs can reach as
high as $5,880 to repair.
As you can see, a small investment of a few hundred dollars for a general home
inspection can save you tons of money and future headaches. To save even more
money, you might consider investing in a specialized home inspection as well. A
specialized inspection gets down to the nitty-gritty of all the trouble spots the
general home inspection might have located.
How Much Money Can a Specialized Inspection Save You?
A general home inspection can trigger a need for a specialized inspection because
the general home inspector spotted something off about the roof, sewer system,
the heating and cooling system, and the foundation. If humidity is high where
you’re buying your home, a pest inspection is recommended. Usually, a pest inspection
will check for mold as well as pests. Most homebuyers have a Radon test
done to ensure air quality.
Roof – Roof specialists examine the chimney and the flashing surrounding it. They
also look at the level of wear and tear of the roof. They can tell you how long the
roof will last before a new one is needed. They’ll inspect the downspouts and gutters.
The average cost of a roof inspection is about $223. Most roof inspections
will cost between $121 and $324.
Sewer System – Making sure your sewer system has no problems should happen
before the closing because what might look like a small problem can turn into a
large problem in the future. If any issues pop up, you can negotiate with the seller
about needed repairs or replacements before closing. Cost of inspection will vary;
on the low side, it might cost you around $95, and on the high side, it might cost
you $790. Compare these numbers to repairing a septic tank, which can cost, on
average, $1,435 (though it could reach as high as $4,459), and you can see that
the cost of an inspection is worth it when you catch the problem before you buy.
Heating and Cooling System – A HVAC specialist will check the ducts for blockage
and for consistent maintenance of the unit. The repairs needed might be small or
they might be big, but this small investment will save you headaches and lots of
money down the road.
Foundation – A foundation specialist will pinpoint the exact problem with the foundation.
The specialist will look at the grade or slope of the home. The ground
should slope away from the home in all directions a half inch per foot. Most homeowners
have spent between $1,763 and $5,880 to repair their foundation. And the
average cost to re-slope a lawn is at $1,705. Most homeowners paid between
$933 and $2,558 to re-slope their lawn.
Pest Inspection – Termites eat a home’s wood structure from inside out and can
cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. Other pests can turn
your dream home into a nightmare. Depending on the humidity of where you live,
you should a pest/termite inspection every two years or so. You can start with
your potential new home. Most inspections are extensive and cost between $109
and $281. The good news is that most pest management company will guarantee
the past inspection if bugs show up.
Radon Test – Radon is a naturally occurring invisible odorless gas that is the second
leading cause of cancer. A radon test is a good test to have done as a good
habit. The cost of radon test is low and its cost varies from state to state.
Here’s more information about Radon.
Steps You Can Take to Save Money Using a Home Inspection
To help yourself save with a home inspection, you will need to:
Attend the inspection – Attending the inspection is important because it’s an opportunity
for you to ask questions.
Check utilities – Checking utilities let’s know the energy efficiency of your potential
Hire a Qualified Home Inspector – We can recommend bona-fide home inspectors
to you. You can compare our recommendation with all inspectors who belong to
the Home Inspectors Association of BC. While the decision of who you work
with is always yours, we can educate you so that you make a wise homebuying