Why Are Home Inspections Necessary?

Here’s what buyers and sellers need to know about home inspections.

Many homeowners haven’t been through a home inspection in a long time because they’ve lived in their homes for so long. That’s why it’s important to remember that if you’re going to sell your home, a buyer will have a professional home inspector take a look under the hood, so to speak.

If you’re a buyer, you might not know that inspections will take between two to five hours, sometimes more. Even more shocking is that the inspector’s report might be 30 to 60 pages long! The thick document can look somewhat scary to people when they first see it, but it’s not. During the inspection, the inspector takes pictures of every single thing they inspect and document what they find in terms of maintenance and defects. Inspections are very thorough, which is why the reports are so long.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

In addition to big-ticket items like the HVAC system, water heater, foundation, or roof, did you know that buyers are routinely having sewer scopes done on homes they want to buy? Many inspection companies offer that service; I’ve personally had three homes with sewer line issues that needed to be repaired. It’s something that many don’t think about every day, but believe me, if you end up with sewer problems, it becomes a top priority. It’s best to know about these issues before you buy a home.

Another item that may not be top of mind among buyers is radon. Radon is a naturally occurring gas; the EPA says that while a certain level of radon exposure isn’t dangerous, homes with a radon level above 4 picocuries are unsafe. Many buyers are having radon tests done when they purchase a home. If the amount is too high, they’ll request that the seller have a professional mitigation system installed. For somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000, a radon mitigation system is guaranteed to keep radon levels low, so long as you maintain the system.

Additionally, keep in mind that electrical codes have changed. Each bedroom must have arc fault breakers and a smoke detector. If you don’t have at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home, I highly recommend that you get one. They can save lives.

In the end, as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you need a home inspector’s services or have any questions about real estate, reach out to me. I’m happy to help you.